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Beyond Good and Evil 

Friedrich Nietzsche 

Beyond Good and Evil 

Table of Contents 

Beyond Good and EviL 1 

Friedrich Nietzsche. 1 













Beyond Good and Evil 

Friedrich Nietzsche 

This page copyright © 2002 Blackmask Online. 










(Helen Zimmern translation) 

This etext was produced by John Mamoun (, 
Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team. 





The following is a reprint of the Helen Zimmern translation from German into English of "Beyond Good and 
Evil," as published in The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche (1909-1913). Some adaptations from the 
original text were made to format it into an e-text. Italics in the original book are capitalized in this e-text, 
except for most foreign language phrases that were italicized. Original footnotes are put in brackets "[]" at the 
points where they are cited in the text. Some spellings were altered. "To-day" and "To-morrow" are spelled 
"today" and "tomorrow." Some words containing the letters "ise" in the original text, such as "idealise," had 
these letters changed to "ize," such as "idealize." "Sceptic" was changed to "skeptic." 


SUPPOSING that Truth is a woman — what then? Is there not ground for suspecting that all philosophers, in 
so far as they have been dogmatists, have failed to understand women — that the terrible seriousness and 
clumsy importunity with which they have usually paid their addresses to Truth, have been unskilled and 
unseemly methods for winning a woman? Certainly she has never allowed herself to be won; and at present 

Beyond Good and Evil 1 

Beyond Good and Evil 

every kind of dogma stands with sad and discouraged mien — IF, indeed, it stands at all! For there are scoffers 
who maintain that it has fallen, that all dogma lies on the ground — nay more, that it is at its last gasp. But to 
speak seriously, there are good grounds for hoping that all dogmatizing in philosophy, whatever solemn, 
whatever conclusive and decided airs it has assumed, may have been only a noble puerilism and tyronism; and 
probably the time is at hand when it will be once and again understood WHAT has actually sufficed for the 
basis of such imposing and absolute philosophical edifices as the dogmatists have hitherto reared: perhaps 
some popular superstition of immemorial time (such as the soul-superstition, which, in the form of 
subject-and ego-superstition, has not yet ceased doing mischief): perhaps some play upon words, a deception 
on the part of grammar, or an audacious generalization of very restricted, very personal, very 
human — all-too-human facts. The philosophy of the dogmatists, it is to be hoped, was only a promise for 
thousands of years afterwards, as was astrology in still earlier times, in the service of which probably more 
labour, gold, acuteness, and patience have been spent than on any actual science hitherto: we owe to it, and to 
its "super- terrestrial" pretensions in Asia and Egypt, the grand style of architecture. It seems that in order to 
inscribe themselves upon the heart of humanity with everlasting claims, all great things have first to wander 
about the earth as enormous and awe- inspiring caricatures: dogmatic philosophy has been a caricature of this 
kind — for instance, the Vedanta doctrine in Asia, and Platonism in Europe. Let us not be ungrateful to it, 
although it must certainly be confessed that the worst, the most tiresome, and the most dangerous of errors 
hitherto has been a dogmatist error — namely, Plato's invention of Pure Spirit and the Good in Itself. But now 
when it has been surmounted, when Europe, rid of this nightmare, can again draw breath freely and at least 
enjoy a healthier— sleep, we, WHOSE DUTY IS WAKEFULNESS ITSELF, are the heirs of all the strength 
which the struggle against this error has fostered. It amounted to the very inversion of truth, and the denial of 
the PERSPECTIVE — the fundamental condition — of life, to speak of Spirit and the Good as Plato spoke of 
them; indeed one might ask, as a physician: "How did such a malady attack that finest product of antiquity, 
Plato? Had the wicked Socrates really corrupted him? Was Socrates after all a corrupter of youths, and 
deserved his hemlock?" But the struggle against Plato, or — to speak plainer, and for the "people" — the 
struggle against the ecclesiastical oppression of millenniums of Christianity (FOR CHRISITIANITY IS 
PLATONISM FOR THE "PEOPLE"), produced in Europe a magnificent tension of soul, such as had not 
existed anywhere previously; with such a tensely strained bow one can now aim at the furthest goals. As a 
matter of fact, the European feels this tension as a state of distress, and twice attempts have been made in 
grand style to unbend the bow: once by means of Jesuitism, and the second time by means of democratic 
enlightenment — which, with the aid of liberty of the press and newspaper-reading, might, in fact, bring it 
about that the spirit would not so easily find itself in "distress" ! (The Germans invented gunpowder- all credit 
to them! but they again made things square — they invented printing.) But we, who are neither Jesuits, nor 
democrats, nor even sufficiently Germans, we GOOD EUROPEANS, and free, VERY free spirits — we have it 
still, all the distress of spirit and all the tension of its bow! And perhaps also the arrow, the duty, and, who 
knows? THE GOAL TO AIM AT. . . . 

Sils Maria Upper Engadine, JUNE, 1885. 


1. The Will to Truth, which is to tempt us to many a hazardous enterprise, the famous Truthfulness of which 
all philosophers have hitherto spoken with respect, what questions has this Will to Truth not laid before us ! 
What strange, perplexing, questionable questions! It is already a long story; yet it seems as if it were hardly 
commenced. Is it any wonder if we at last grow distrustful, lose patience, and turn impatiently away? That this 
Sphinx teaches us at last to ask questions ourselves? WHO is it really that puts questions to us here? WHAT 
really is this "Will to Truth" in us? In fact we made a long halt at the question as to the origin of this 
Will — until at last we came to an absolute standstill before a yet more fundamental question. We inquired 
about the VALUE of this Will. Granted that we want the truth: WHY NOT RATHER untruth? And 
uncertainty? Even ignorance? The problem of the value of truth presented itself before us — or was it we who 
presented ourselves before the problem? Which of us is the Oedipus here? Which the Sphinx? It would seem 


Beyond Good and Evil 

to be a rendezvous of questions and notes of interrogation. And could it be believed that it at last seems to us 
as if the problem had never been propounded before, as if we were the first to discern it, get a sight of it, and 
RISK RAISING it? For there is risk in raising it, perhaps there is no greater risk. 

2. "HOW COULD anything originate out of its opposite? For example, truth out of error? or the Will to Truth 
out of the will to deception? or the generous deed out of selfishness? or the pure sun-bright vision of the wise 
man out of covetousness? Such genesis is impossible; whoever dreams of it is a fool, nay, worse than a fool; 
things of the highest value must have a different origin, an origin of THEIR own — in this transitory, 
seductive, illusory, paltry world, in this turmoil of delusion and cupidity, they cannot have their source. But 
rather in the lap of Being, in the intransitory, in the concealed God, in the 'Thing-in-itself — THERE must be 
their source, and nowhere else!" — This mode of reasoning discloses the typical prejudice by which 
metaphysicians of all times can be recognized, this mode of valuation is at the back of all their logical 
procedure; through this "belief of theirs, they exert themselves for their "knowledge," for something that is in 
the end solemnly christened "the Truth." The fundamental belief of metaphysicians is THE BELIEF IN 
ANTITHESES OF VALUES. It never occurred even to the wariest of them to doubt here on the very 
threshold (where doubt, however, was most necessary); though they had made a solemn vow, "DE OMNIBUS 
DUBITANDUM." For it may be doubted, firstly, whether antitheses exist at all; and secondly, whether the 
popular valuations and antitheses of value upon which metaphysicians have set their seal, are not perhaps 
merely superficial estimates, merely provisional perspectives, besides being probably made from some corner, 
perhaps from below — "frog perspectives," as it were, to borrow an expression current among painters. In spite 
of all the value which may belong to the true, the positive, and the unselfish, it might be possible that a higher 
and more fundamental value for life generally should be assigned to pretence, to the will to delusion, to 
selfishness, and cupidity. It might even be possible that WHAT constitutes the value of those good and 
respected things, consists precisely in their being insidiously related, knotted, and crocheted to these evil and 
apparently opposed things — perhaps even in being essentially identical with them. Perhaps! But who wishes 
to concern himself with such dangerous "Perhapses" ! For that investigation one must await the advent of a 
new order of philosophers, such as will have other tastes and inclinations, the reverse of those hitherto 
prevalent — philosophers of the dangerous "Perhaps" in every sense of the term. And to speak in all 
seriousness, I see such new philosophers beginning to appear. 

3. Having kept a sharp eye on philosophers, and having read between their lines long enough, I now say to 
myself that the greater part of conscious thinking must be counted among the instinctive functions, and it is so 
even in the case of philosophical thinking; one has here to learn anew, as one learned anew about heredity and 
"innateness." As little as the act of birth comes into consideration in the whole process and procedure of 
heredity, just as little is "being-conscious" OPPOSED to the instinctive in any decisive sense; the greater part 
of the conscious thinking of a philosopher is secretly influenced by his instincts, and forced into definite 
channels. And behind all logic and its seeming sovereignty of movement, there are valuations, or to speak 
more plainly, physiological demands, for the maintenance of a definite mode of life For example, that the 
certain is worth more than the uncertain, that illusion is less valuable than "truth" such valuations, in spite of 
their regulative importance for US, might notwithstanding be only superficial valuations, special kinds of 
maiserie, such as may be necessary for the maintenance of beings such as ourselves. Supposing, in effect, that 
man is not just the "measure of things." 

4. The falseness of an opinion is not for us any objection to it: it is here, perhaps, that our new language 
sounds most strangely. The question is, how far an opinion is life-furthering, life- preserving, 
species-preserving, perhaps species-rearing, and we are fundamentally inclined to maintain that the falsest 
opinions (to which the synthetic judgments a priori belong), are the most indispensable to us, that without a 
recognition of logical fictions, without a comparison of reality with the purely IMAGINED world of the 
absolute and immutable, without a constant counterfeiting of the world by means of numbers, man could not 
live — that the renunciation of false opinions would be a renunciation of life, a negation of life. TO 
RECOGNISE UNTRUTH AS A CONDITION OF LIFE; that is certainly to impugn the traditional ideas of 


Beyond Good and Evil 

value in a dangerous manner, and a philosophy which ventures to do so, has thereby alone placed itself 
beyond good and evil. 

5. That which causes philosophers to be regarded half- distrustfully and half-mockingly, is not the 
oft-repeated discovery how innocent they are — how often and easily they make mistakes and lose their way, 
in short, how childish and childlike they are, — but that there is not enough honest dealing with them, whereas 
they all raise a loud and virtuous outcry when the problem of truthfulness is even hinted at in the remotest 
manner. They all pose as though their real opinions had been discovered and attained through the 
self-evolving of a cold, pure, divinely indifferent dialectic (in contrast to all sorts of mystics, who, fairer and 
foolisher, talk of "inspiration"), whereas, in fact, a prejudiced proposition, idea, or "suggestion," which is 
generally their heart's desire abstracted and refined, is defended by them with arguments sought out after the 
event. They are all advocates who do not wish to be regarded as such, generally astute defenders, also, of their 
prejudices, which they dub "truths," — and VERY far from having the conscience which bravely admits this 
to itself, very far from having the good taste of the courage which goes so far as to let this be understood, 
perhaps to warn friend or foe, or in cheerful confidence and self-ridicule. The spectacle of the Tartuffery of 
old Kant, equally stiff and decent, with which he entices us into the dialectic by-ways that lead (more 
correctly mislead) to his "categorical imperative" — makes us fastidious ones smile, we who find no small 
amusement in spying out the subtle tricks of old moralists and ethical preachers. Or, still more so, the 
hocus-pocus in mathematical form, by means of which Spinoza has, as it were, clad his philosophy in mail 
and mask — in fact, the "love of HIS wisdom," to translate the term fairly and squarely — in order thereby to 
strike terror at once into the heart of the assailant who should dare to cast a glance on that invincible maiden, 
that Pallas Athene: — how much of personal timidity and vulnerability does this masquerade of a sickly recluse 
betray ! 

6. It has gradually become clear to me what every great philosophy up till now has consisted of — namely, the 
confession of its originator, and a species of involuntary and unconscious auto-biography; and moreover that 
the moral (or immoral) purpose in every philosophy has constituted the true vital germ out of which the entire 
plant has always grown. Indeed, to understand how the abstrusest metaphysical assertions of a philosopher 
have been arrived at, it is always well (and wise) to first ask oneself: "What morality do they (or does he) aim 
at?" Accordingly, I do not believe that an "impulse to knowledge" is the father of philosophy; but that another 
impulse, here as elsewhere, has only made use of knowledge (and mistaken knowledge!) as an instrument. But 
whoever considers the fundamental impulses of man with a view to determining how far they may have here 
acted as INSPIRING GENII (or as demons and cobolds), will find that they have all practiced philosophy at 
one time or another, and that each one of them would have been only too glad to look upon itself as the 
ultimate end of existence and the legitimate LORD over all the other impulses. For every impulse is 
imperious, and as SUCH, attempts to philosophize. To be sure, in the case of scholars, in the case of really 
scientific men, it may be otherwise — "better," if you will; there there may really be such a thing as an 
"impulse to knowledge," some kind of small, independent clock-work, which, when well wound up, works 
away industriously to that end, WITHOUT the rest of the scholarly impulses taking any material part therein. 
The actual "interests" of the scholar, therefore, are generally in quite another direction — in the family, 
perhaps, or in money-making, or in politics; it is, in fact, almost indifferent at what point of research his little 
machine is placed, and whether the hopeful young worker becomes a good philologist, a mushroom specialist, 
or a chemist; he is not CHARACTERISED by becoming this or that. In the philosopher, on the contrary, there 
is absolutely nothing impersonal; and above all, his morality furnishes a decided and decisive testimony as to 
WHO HE IS, — that is to say, in what order the deepest impulses of his nature stand to each other. 

7. How malicious philosophers can be! I know of nothing more stinging than the joke Epicurus took the 
liberty of making on Plato and the Platonists; he called them Dionysiokolakes. In its original sense, and on the 
face of it, the word signifies "Flatterers of Dionysius" — consequently, tyrants' accessories and lick-spittles; 
besides this, however, it is as much as to say, "They are all ACTORS, there is nothing genuine about them" 
(for Dionysiokolax was a popular name for an actor). And the latter is really the malignant reproach that 


Beyond Good and Evil 

Epicurus cast upon Plato: he was annoyed by the grandiose manner, the mise en scene style of which Plato 
and his scholars were masters — of which Epicurus was not a master! He, the old school-teacher of Samos, 
who sat concealed in his little garden at Athens, and wrote three hundred books, perhaps out of rage and 
ambitious envy of Plato, who knows! Greece took a hundred years to find out who the garden-god Epicurus 
really was. Did she ever find out? 

8. There is a point in every philosophy at which the "conviction" of the philosopher appears on the scene; or, 
to put it in the words of an ancient mystery: 

Adventavit asinus, Pulcher et fortissimus. 

9. You desire to LIVE "according to Nature"? Oh, you noble Stoics, what fraud of words! Imagine to 
yourselves a being like Nature, boundlessly extravagant, boundlessly indifferent, without purpose or 
consideration, without pity or justice, at once fruitful and barren and uncertain: imagine to yourselves 
INDIFFERENCE as a power — how COULD you live in accordance with such indifference? To live — is not 
that just endeavouring to be otherwise than this Nature? Is not living valuing, preferring, being unjust, being 
limited, endeavouring to be different? And granted that your imperative, "living according to Nature," means 
actually the same as "living according to life" — how could you do DIFFERENTLY? Why should you make a 
principle out of what you yourselves are, and must be? In reality, however, it is quite otherwise with you: 
while you pretend to read with rapture the canon of your law in Nature, you want something quite the 
contrary, you extraordinary stage-players and self-deluders ! In your pride you wish to dictate your morals 
and ideals to Nature, to Nature herself, and to incorporate them therein; you insist that it shall be Nature 
"according to the Stoa," and would like everything to be made after your own image, as a vast, eternal 
glorification and generalism of Stoicism! With all your love for truth, you have forced yourselves so long, so 
persistently, and with such hypnotic rigidity to see Nature FALSELY, that is to say, Stoically, that you are no 
longer able to see it otherwise — and to crown all, some unfathomable superciliousness gives you the 
Bedlamite hope that BECAUSE you are able to tyrannize over yourselves — Stoicism is self-tyranny — Nature 
will also allow herself to be tyrannized over: is not the Stoic a PART of Nature? . . . But this is an old and 
everlasting story: what happened in old times with the Stoics still happens today, as soon as ever a philosophy 
begins to believe in itself. It always creates the world in its own image; it cannot do otherwise; philosophy is 
this tyrannical impulse itself, the most spiritual Will to Power, the will to "creation of the world," the will to 
the causa prima. 

10. The eagerness and subtlety, I should even say craftiness, with which the problem of "the real and the 
apparent world" is dealt with at present throughout Europe, furnishes food for thought and attention; and he 
who hears only a "Will to Truth" in the background, and nothing else, cannot certainly boast of the sharpest 
ears. In rare and isolated cases, it may really have happened that such a Will to Truth — a certain extravagant 
and adventurous pluck, a metaphysician's ambition of the forlorn hope — has participated therein: that which in 
the end always prefers a handful of "certainty" to a whole cartload of beautiful possibilities; there may even 
be puritanical fanatics of conscience, who prefer to put their last trust in a sure nothing, rather than in an 
uncertain something. But that is Nihilism, and the sign of a despairing, mortally wearied soul, notwithstanding 
the courageous bearing such a virtue may display. It seems, however, to be otherwise with stronger and 
livelier thinkers who are still eager for life. In that they side AGAINST appearance, and speak superciliously 
of "perspective," in that they rank the credibility of their own bodies about as low as the credibility of the 
ocular evidence that "the earth stands still," and thus, apparently, allowing with complacency their securest 
possession to escape (for what does one at present believe in more firmly than in one's body?), — who knows if 
they are not really trying to win back something which was formerly an even securer possession, something of 
the old domain of the faith of former times, perhaps the "immortal soul," perhaps "the old God," in short, 
ideas by which they could live better, that is to say, more vigorously and more joyously, than by "modern 
ideas"? There is DISTRUST of these modern ideas in this mode of looking at things, a disbelief in all that has 
been constructed yesterday and today; there is perhaps some slight admixture of satiety and scorn, which can 


Beyond Good and Evil 

no longer endure the BRIC-A-BRAC of ideas of the most varied origin, such as so-called Positivism at 
present throws on the market; a disgust of the more refined taste at the village-fair motleyness and patchiness 
of all these reality-philosophasters, in whom there is nothing either new or true, except this motleyness. 
Therein it seems to me that we should agree with those skeptical anti-realists and knowledge-microscopists 
of the present day; their instinct, which repels them from MODERN reality, is unrefuted . . . what do their 
retrograde by-paths concern us! The main thing about them is NOT that they wish to go "back," but that they 
wish to get AWAY therefrom. A little MORE strength, swing, courage, and artistic power, and they would be 
OFF — and not back! 

1 1 . It seems to me that there is everywhere an attempt at present to divert attention from the actual influence 
which Kant exercised on German philosophy, and especially to ignore prudently the value which he set upon 
himself. Kant was first and foremost proud of his Table of Categories; with it in his hand he said: "This is the 
most difficult thing that could ever be undertaken on behalf of metaphysics." Let us only understand this 
"could be"! He was proud of having DISCOVERED a new faculty in man, the faculty of synthetic judgment a 
priori. Granting that he deceived himself in this matter; the development and rapid flourishing of German 
philosophy depended nevertheless on his pride, and on the eager rivalry of the younger generation to discover 
if possible something — at all events "new faculties" — of which to be still prouder! — But let us reflect for a 
moment — it is high time to do so. "How are synthetic judgments a priori POSSIBLE?" Kant asks 
himself — and what is really his answer? "BY MEANS OF A MEANS (faculty)" — but unfortunately not in 
five words, but so circumstantially, imposingly, and with such display of German profundity and verbal 
flourishes, that one altogether loses sight of the comical niaiserie allemande involved in such an answer. 
People were beside themselves with delight over this new faculty, and the jubilation reached its climax when 
Kant further discovered a moral faculty in man — for at that time Germans were still moral, not yet dabbling in 
the "Politics of hard fact." Then came the honeymoon of German philosophy. All the young theologians of the 
Tubingen institution went immediately into the groves — all seeking for "faculties." And what did they not 
find — in that innocent, rich, and still youthful period of the German spirit, to which Romanticism, the 
malicious fairy, piped and sang, when one could not yet distinguish between "finding" and "inventing"! 
Above all a faculty for the "transcendental"; Schelling christened it, intellectual intuition, and thereby 
gratified the most earnest longings of the naturally pious-inclined Germans. One can do no greater wrong to 
the whole of this exuberant and eccentric movement (which was really youthfulness, notwithstanding that it 
disguised itself so boldly, in hoary and senile conceptions), than to take it seriously, or even treat it with moral 
indignation. Enough, however — the world grew older, and the dream vanished. A time came when people 
rubbed their foreheads, and they still rub them today. People had been dreaming, and first and foremost — old 
Kant. "By means of a means (faculty)" — he had said, or at least meant to say. But, is that — an answer? An 
explanation? Or is it not rather merely a repetition of the question? How does opium induce sleep? "By means 
of a means (faculty), "namely the virtus dormitiva, replies the doctor in Moliere, 

Quia est in eo virtus dormitiva, 
Cujus est natura sensus assoupire. 

But such replies belong to the realm of comedy, and it is high time to replace the Kantian question, "How are 
synthetic judgments a PRIORI possible?" by another question, "Why is belief in such judgments 
necessary?" — in effect, it is high time that we should understand that such judgments must be believed to be 
true, for the sake of the preservation of creatures like ourselves; though they still might naturally be false 
judgments! Or, more plainly spoken, and roughly and readily — synthetic judgments a priori should not "be 
possible" at all; we have no right to them; in our mouths they are nothing but false judgments. Only, of 
course, the belief in their truth is necessary, as plausible belief and ocular evidence belonging to the 
perspective view of life. And finally, to call to mind the enormous influence which "German philosophy" — I 
hope you understand its right to inverted commas (goosefeet)? — has exercised throughout the whole of 
Europe, there is no doubt that a certain VIRTUS DORMITIVA had a share in it; thanks to German 
philosophy, it was a delight to the noble idlers, the virtuous, the mystics, the artiste, the three-fourths 


Beyond Good and Evil 

Christians, and the political obscurantists of all nations, to find an antidote to the still overwhelming 
sensualism which overflowed from the last century into this, in short — "sensus assoupire." . . . 

12. As regards materialistic atomism, it is one of the best- refuted theories that have been advanced, and in 
Europe there is now perhaps no one in the learned world so unscholarly as to attach serious signification to it, 
except for convenient everyday use (as an abbreviation of the means of expression) — thanks chiefly to the 
Pole Boscovich: he and the Pole Copernicus have hitherto been the greatest and most successful opponents of 
ocular evidence. For while Copernicus has persuaded us to believe, contrary to all the senses, that the earth 
does NOT stand fast, Boscovich has taught us to abjure the belief in the last thing that "stood fast" of the 
earth — the belief in "substance," in "matter," in the earth-residuum, and particle- atom: it is the greatest 
triumph over the senses that has hitherto been gained on earth. One must, however, go still further, and also 
declare war, relentless war to the knife, against the "atomistic requirements" which still lead a dangerous 
after-life in places where no one suspects them, like the more celebrated "metaphysical requirements": one 
must also above all give the finishing stroke to that other and more portentous atomism which Christianity has 
taught best and longest, the SOUL-ATOMISM. Let it be permitted to designate by this expression the belief 
which regards the soul as something indestructible, eternal, indivisible, as a monad, as an atomon: this belief 
ought to be expelled from science! Between ourselves, it is not at all necessary to get rid of "the soul" thereby, 
and thus renounce one of the oldest and most venerated hypotheses — as happens frequently to the clumsiness 
of naturalists, who can hardly touch on the soul without immediately losing it. But the way is open for new 
acceptations and refinements of the soul-hypothesis; and such conceptions as "mortal soul," and "soul of 
subjective multiplicity," and "soul as social structure of the instincts and passions," want henceforth to have 
legitimate rights in science. In that the NEW psychologist is about to put an end to the superstitions which 
have hitherto flourished with almost tropical luxuriance around the idea of the soul, he is really, as it were, 
thrusting himself into a new desert and a new distrust — it is possible that the older psychologists had a merrier 
and more comfortable time of it; eventually, however, he finds that precisely thereby he is also condemned to 
INVENT— and, who knows? perhaps to DISCOVER the new. 

13. Psychologists should bethink themselves before putting down the instinct of self-preservation as the 
cardinal instinct of an organic being. A living thing seeks above all to DISCHARGE its strength — life itself is 
WILL TO POWER; self-preservation is only one of the indirect and most frequent RESULTS thereof. In 
short, here, as everywhere else, let us beware of SUPERFLUOUS ideological principles! — one of which is 
the instinct of self- preservation (we owe it to Spinoza's inconsistency). It is thus, in effect, that method 
ordains, which must be essentially economy of principles. 

14. It is perhaps just dawning on five or six minds that natural philosophy is only a world-exposition and 
world- arrangement (according to us, if I may say so!) and NOT a world-explanation; but in so far as it is 
based on belief in the senses, it is regarded as more, and for a long time to come must be regarded as 

more — namely, as an explanation. It has eyes and fingers of its own, it has ocular evidence and palpableness 
of its own: this operates fascinatingly, persuasively, and CONVINCINGLY upon an age with fundamentally 
plebeian tastes — in fact, it follows instinctively the canon of truth of eternal popular sensualism. What is clear, 
what is "explained"? Only that which can be seen and felt — one must pursue every problem thus far. 
Obversely, however, the charm of the Platonic mode of thought, which was an ARISTOCRATIC mode, 
consisted precisely in RESISTANCE to obvious sense-evidence — perhaps among men who enjoyed even 
stronger and more fastidious senses than our contemporaries, but who knew how to find a higher triumph in 
remaining masters of them: and this by means of pale, cold, grey conceptional networks which they threw 
over the motley whirl of the senses — the mob of the senses, as Plato said. In this overcoming of the world, and 
interpreting of the world in the manner of Plato, there was an ENJOYMENT different from that which the 
physicists of today offer us — and likewise the Darwinists and anti-teleologists among the physiological 
workers, with their principle of the "smallest possible effort," and the greatest possible blunder. "Where there 
is nothing more to see or to grasp, there is also nothing more for men to do" — that is certainly an imperative 
different from the Platonic one, but it may notwithstanding be the right imperative for a hardy, laborious race 


Beyond Good and Evil 
of machinists and bridge- builders of the future, who have nothing but ROUGH work to perform. 

15. To study physiology with a clear conscience, one must insist on the fact that the sense-organs are not 
phenomena in the sense of the idealistic philosophy; as such they certainly could not be causes! Sensualism, 
therefore, at least as regulative hypothesis, if not as heuristic principle. What? And others say even that the 
external world is the work of our organs? But then our body, as a part of this external world, would be the 
work of our organs! But then our organs themselves would be the work of our organs! It seems to me that this 
is a complete REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM, if the conception CAUSA SUI is something fundamentally 
absurd. Consequently, the external world is NOT the work of our organs — ? 

16. There are still harmless self-observers who believe that there are "immediate certainties"; for instance, "I 
think," or as the superstition of Schopenhauer puts it, "I will"; as though cognition here got hold of its object 
purely and simply as "the thing in itself," without any falsification taking place either on the part of the 
subject or the object. I would repeat it, however, a hundred times, that "immediate certainty," as well as 
"absolute knowledge" and the "thing in itself," involve a CONTRADICTIO IN ADJECTO; we really ought to 
free ourselves from the misleading significance of words ! The people on their part may think that cognition is 
knowing all about things, but the philosopher must say to himself: "When I analyze the process that is 
expressed in the sentence, 'I think,' I find a whole series of daring assertions, the argumentative proof of which 
would be difficult, perhaps impossible: for instance, that it is / who think, that there must necessarily be 
something that thinks, that thinking is an activity and operation on the part of a being who is thought of as a 
cause, that there is an 'ego,' and finally, that it is already determined what is to be designated by 

thinking — that I KNOW what thinking is. For if I had not already decided within myself what it is, by what 
standard could I determine whether that which is just happening is not perhaps 'willing' or 'feeling'? In short, 
the assertion 'I think,' assumes that I COMPARE my state at the present moment with other states of myself 
which I know, in order to determine what it is; on account of this retrospective connection with further 
'knowledge,' it has, at any rate, no immediate certainty for me." — In place of the "immediate certainty" in 
which the people may believe in the special case, the philosopher thus finds a series of metaphysical questions 
presented to him, veritable conscience questions of the intellect, to wit: "Whence did I get the notion of 
'thinking'? Why do I believe in cause and effect? What gives me the right to speak of an 'ego,' and even of an 
'ego' as cause, and finally of an 'ego' as cause of thought?" He who ventures to answer these metaphysical 
questions at once by an appeal to a sort of INTUITIVE perception, like the person who says, "I think, and 
know that this, at least, is true, actual, and certain" — will encounter a smile and two notes of interrogation in a 
philosopher nowadays. "Sir," the philosopher will perhaps give him to understand, "it is improbable that you 
are not mistaken, but why should it be the truth?" 

17. With regard to the superstitions of logicians, I shall never tire of emphasizing a small, terse fact, which is 
unwillingly recognized by these credulous minds — namely, that a thought comes when "it" wishes, and not 
when "I" wish; so that it is a PERVERSION of the facts of the case to say that the subject "I" is the condition 
of the predicate "think." ONE thinks; but that this "one" is precisely the famous old "ego," is, to put it mildly, 
only a supposition, an assertion, and assuredly not an "immediate certainty." After all, one has even gone too 
far with this "one thinks" — even the "one" contains an INTERPRETATION of the process, and does not 
belong to the process itself. One infers here according to the usual grammatical formula — "To think is an 
activity; every activity requires an agency that is active; consequently" ... It was pretty much on the same 
lines that the older atomism sought, besides the operating "power," the material particle wherein it resides and 
out of which it operates — the atom. More rigorous minds, however, learnt at last to get along without this 
"earth-residuum," and perhaps some day we shall accustom ourselves, even from the logician's point of view, 
to get along without the little "one" (to which the worthy old "ego" has refined itself). 

18. It is certainly not the least charm of a theory that it is refutable; it is precisely thereby that it attracts the 
more subtle minds. It seems that the hundred-times-refuted theory of the "free will" owes its persistence to 
this charm alone; some one is always appearing who feels himself strong enough to refute it. 


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19. Philosophers are accustomed to speak of the will as though it were the best-known thing in the world; 
indeed, Schopenhauer has given us to understand that the will alone is really known to us, absolutely and 
completely known, without deduction or addition. But it again and again seems to me that in this case 
Schopenhauer also only did what philosophers are in the habit of doing-he seems to have adopted a 
POPULAR PREJUDICE and exaggerated it. Willing-seems to me to be above all something 
COMPLICATED, something that is a unity only in name — and it is precisely in a name that popular prejudice 
lurks, which has got the mastery over the inadequate precautions of philosophers in all ages. So let us for once 
be more cautious, let us be "unphilosophical": let us say that in all willing there is firstly a plurality of 
sensations, namely, the sensation of the condition "AWAY FROM WHICH we go," the sensation of the 
condition "TOWARDS WHICH we go," the sensation of this "FROM" and "TOWARDS" itself, and then 
besides, an accompanying muscular sensation, which, even without our putting in motion "arms and legs," 
commences its action by force of habit, directly we "will" anything. Therefore, just as sensations (and indeed 
many kinds of sensations) are to be recognized as ingredients of the will, so, in the second place, thinking is 
also to be recognized; in every act of the will there is a ruling thought; — and let us not imagine it possible to 
sever this thought from the "willing," as if the will would then remain over! In the third place, the will is not 
only a complex of sensation and thinking, but it is above all an EMOTION, and in fact the emotion of the 
command. That which is termed "freedom of the will" is essentially the emotion of supremacy in respect to 
him who must obey: "I am free, 'he' must obey" — this consciousness is inherent in every will; and equally so 
the straining of the attention, the straight look which fixes itself exclusively on one thing, the unconditional 
judgment that "this and nothing else is necessary now," the inward certainty that obedience will be 
rendered — and whatever else pertains to the position of the commander. A man who WILLS commands 
something within himself which renders obedience, or which he believes renders obedience. But now let us 
notice what is the strangest thing about the will, — this affair so extremely complex, for which the people have 
only one name. Inasmuch as in the given circumstances we are at the same time the commanding AND the 
obeying parties, and as the obeying party we know the sensations of constraint, impulsion, pressure, 
resistance, and motion, which usually commence immediately after the act of will; inasmuch as, on the other 
hand, we are accustomed to disregard this duality, and to deceive ourselves about it by means of the synthetic 
term "I": a whole series of erroneous conclusions, and consequently of false judgments about the will itself, 
has become attached to the act of willing — to such a degree that he who wills believes firmly that willing 
SUFFICES for action. Since in the majority of cases there has only been exercise of will when the effect of 
the command — consequently obedience, and therefore action — was to be EXPECTED, the APPEARANCE 
has translated itself into the sentiment, as if there were a NECESSITY OF EFFECT; in a word, he who wills 
believes with a fair amount of certainty that will and action are somehow one; he ascribes the success, the 
carrying out of the willing, to the will itself, and thereby enjoys an increase of the sensation of power which 
accompanies all success. "Freedom of Will" — that is the expression for the complex state of delight of the 
person exercising volition, who commands and at the same time identifies himself with the executor of the 
order — who, as such, enjoys also the triumph over obstacles, but thinks within himself that it was really his 
own will that overcame them. In this way the person exercising volition adds the feelings of delight of his 
successful executive instruments, the useful "underwills" or under-souls — indeed, our body is but a social 
structure composed of many souls — to his feelings of delight as commander. L'EFFET C'EST MOI. what 
happens here is what happens in every well-constructed and happy commonwealth, namely, that the 
governing class identifies itself with the successes of the commonwealth. In all willing it is absolutely a 
question of commanding and obeying, on the basis, as already said, of a social structure composed of many 
"souls", on which account a philosopher should claim the right to include willing- as-such within the sphere 
of morals — regarded as the doctrine of the relations of supremacy under which the phenomenon of "life" 
manifests itself. 

20. That the separate philosophical ideas are not anything optional or autonomously evolving, but grow up in 
connection and relationship with each other, that, however suddenly and arbitrarily they seem to appear in the 
history of thought, they nevertheless belong just as much to a system as the collective members of the fauna of 
a Continent — is betrayed in the end by the circumstance: how unfailingly the most diverse philosophers 


Beyond Good and Evil 

always fill in again a definite fundamental scheme of POSSIBLE philosophies. Under an invisible spell, they 
always revolve once more in the same orbit, however independent of each other they may feel themselves 
with their critical or systematic wills, something within them leads them, something impels them in definite 
order the one after the other — to wit, the innate methodology and relationship of their ideas. Their thinking is, 
in fact, far less a discovery than a re-recognizing, a remembering, a return and a home-coming to a far-off, 
ancient common-household of the soul, out of which those ideas formerly grew: philosophizing is so far a 
kind of atavism of the highest order. The wonderful family resemblance of all Indian, Greek, and German 
philosophizing is easily enough explained. In fact, where there is affinity of language, owing to the common 
philosophy of grammar — I mean owing to the unconscious domination and guidance of similar grammatical 
functions — it cannot but be that everything is prepared at the outset for a similar development and succession 
of philosophical systems, just as the way seems barred against certain other possibilities of 
world-interpretation. It is highly probable that philosophers within the domain of the Ural-Altaic languages 
(where the conception of the subject is least developed) look otherwise "into the world," and will be found on 
paths of thought different from those of the Indo-Germans and Mussulmans, the spell of certain grammatical 
functions is ultimately also the spell of PHYSIOLOGICAL valuations and racial conditions. — So much by 
way of rejecting Locke's superficiality with regard to the origin of ideas. 

21. The CAUSA SUI is the best self-contradiction that has yet been conceived, it is a sort of logical violation 
and unnaturalness; but the extravagant pride of man has managed to entangle itself profoundly and frightfully 
with this very folly. The desire for "freedom of will" in the superlative, metaphysical sense, such as still holds 
sway, unfortunately, in the minds of the half-educated, the desire to bear the entire and ultimate responsibility 
for one's actions oneself, and to absolve God, the world, ancestors, chance, and society therefrom, involves 
nothing less than to be precisely this CAUSA SUI, and, with more than Munchausen daring, to pull oneself up 
into existence by the hair, out of the slough of nothingness. If any one should find out in this manner the crass 
stupidity of the celebrated conception of "free will" and put it out of his head altogether, I beg of him to carry 
his "enlightenment" a step further, and also put out of his head the contrary of this monstrous conception of 
"free will": I mean "non-free will," which is tantamount to a misuse of cause and effect. One should not 
wrongly MATERIALISE "cause" and "effect," as the natural philosophers do (and whoever like them 
naturalize in thinking at present), according to the prevailing mechanical doltishness which makes the cause 
press and push until it "effects" its end; one should use "cause" and "effect" only as pure CONCEPTIONS, 
that is to say, as conventional fictions for the purpose of designation and mutual understanding, — NOT for 
explanation. In "being-in-itself ' there is nothing of "casual- connection," of "necessity," or of 
"psychological non-freedom"; there the effect does NOT follow the cause, there "law" does not obtain. It is 
WE alone who have devised cause, sequence, reciprocity, relativity, constraint, number, law, freedom, motive, 
and purpose; and when we interpret and intermix this symbol-world, as "being-in-itself," with things, we act 
once more as we have always acted — MYTHOLOGICALLY. The "non-free will" is mythology; in real life it 
is only a question of STRONG and WEAK wills. — It is almost always a symptom of what is lacking in 
himself, when a thinker, in every "causal-connection" and "psychological necessity," manifests something of 
compulsion, indigence, obsequiousness, oppression, and non-freedom; it is suspicious to have such 
feelings — the person betrays himself. And in general, if I have observed correctly, the "non-freedom of the 
will" is regarded as a problem from two entirely opposite standpoints, but always in a profoundly 
PERSONAL manner: some will not give up their "responsibility," their belief in THEMSELVES, the 
personal right to THEIR merits, at any price (the vain races belong to this class); others on the contrary, do not 
wish to be answerable for anything, or blamed for anything, and owing to an inward self-contempt, seek to 
GET OUT OF THE BUSINESS, no matter how. The latter, when they write books, are in the habit at present 
of taking the side of criminals; a sort of socialistic sympathy is their favourite disguise. And as a matter of 
fact, the fatalism of the weak-willed embellishes itself surprisingly when it can pose as "la religion de la 
souffrance humaine"; that is ITS "good taste." 

22. Let me be pardoned, as an old philologist who cannot desist from the mischief of putting his finger on bad 
modes of interpretation, but "Nature's conformity to law," of which you physicists talk so proudly, as 


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though — why, it exists only owing to your interpretation and bad "philology." It is no matter of fact, no 
"text," but rather just a naively humanitarian adjustment and perversion of meaning, with which you make 
abundant concessions to the democratic instincts of the modern soul! "Everywhere equality before the 
law — Nature is not different in that respect, nor better than we": a fine instance of secret motive, in which the 
vulgar antagonism to everything privileged and autocratic — likewise a second and more refined atheism — is 
once more disguised. "Ni dieu, ni maitre" — that, also, is what you want; and therefore "Cheers for natural 
law!" — is it not so? But, as has been said, that is interpretation, not text; and somebody might come along, 
who, with opposite intentions and modes of interpretation, could read out of the same "Nature," and with 
regard to the same phenomena, just the tyrannically inconsiderate and relentless enforcement of the claims of 
power — an interpreter who should so place the unexceptionalness and unconditionalness of all "Will to 
Power" before your eyes, that almost every word, and the word "tyranny" itself, would eventually seem 
unsuitable, or like a weakening and softening metaphor — as being too human; and who should, nevertheless, 
end by asserting the same about this world as you do, namely, that it has a "necessary" and "calculable" 
course, NOT, however, because laws obtain in it, but because they are absolutely LACKING, and every 
power effects its ultimate consequences every moment. Granted that this also is only interpretation — and you 
will be eager enough to make this objection? — well, so much the better. 

23. All psychology hitherto has run aground on moral prejudices and timidities, it has not dared to launch out 
into the depths. In so far as it is allowable to recognize in that which has hitherto been written, evidence of 
that which has hitherto been kept silent, it seems as if nobody had yet harboured the notion of psychology as 
the Morphology and DEVELOPMENT-DOCTRINE OF THE WILL TO POWER, as I conceive of it. The 
power of moral prejudices has penetrated deeply into the most intellectual world, the world apparently most 
indifferent and unprejudiced, and has obviously operated in an injurious, obstructive, blinding, and distorting 
manner. A proper physio-psychology has to contend with unconscious antagonism in the heart of the 
investigator, it has "the heart" against it even a doctrine of the reciprocal conditionalness of the "good" and 
the "bad" impulses, causes (as refined immorality) distress and aversion in a still strong and manly 
conscience — still more so, a doctrine of the derivation of all good impulses from bad ones. If, however, a 
person should regard even the emotions of hatred, envy, covetousness, and imperiousness as life-conditioning 
emotions, as factors which must be present, fundamentally and essentially, in the general economy of life 
(which must, therefore, be further developed if life is to be further developed), he will suffer from such a view 
of things as from sea-sickness. And yet this hypothesis is far from being the strangest and most painful in this 
immense and almost new domain of dangerous knowledge, and there are in fact a hundred good reasons why 
every one should keep away from it who CAN do so! On the other hand, if one has once drifted hither with 
one's bark, well! very good! now let us set our teeth firmly! let us open our eyes and keep our hand fast on the 
helm! We sail away right OVER morality, we crush out, we destroy perhaps the remains of our own morality 
by daring to make our voyage thither — but what do WE matter. Never yet did a PROFOUNDER world of 
insight reveal itself to daring travelers and adventurers, and the psychologist who thus "makes a sacrifice" — it 
is not the sacrifizio dell' intelletto, on the contrary ! — will at least be entitled to demand in return that 
psychology shall once more be recognized as the queen of the sciences, for whose service and equipment the 
other sciences exist. For psychology is once more the path to the fundamental problems. 


24. O sancta simplicitiatas ! In what strange simplification and falsification man lives! One can never cease 
wondering when once one has got eyes for beholding this marvel ! How we have made everything around us 
clear and free and easy and simple ! how we have been able to give our senses a passport to everything 
superficial, our thoughts a godlike desire for wanton pranks and wrong inferences! — how from the beginning, 
we have contrived to retain our ignorance in order to enjoy an almost inconceivable freedom, thoughtlessness, 
imprudence, heartiness, and gaiety — in order to enjoy life! And only on this solidified, granitelike foundation 
of ignorance could knowledge rear itself hitherto, the will to knowledge on the foundation of a far more 
powerful will, the will to ignorance, to the uncertain, to the untrue! Not as its opposite, but — as its refinement! 


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It is to be hoped, indeed, that LANGUAGE, here as elsewhere, will not get over its awkwardness, and that it 
will continue to talk of opposites where there are only degrees and many refinements of gradation; it is 
equally to be hoped that the incarnated Tartuffery of morals, which now belongs to our unconquerable "flesh 
and blood," will turn the words round in the mouths of us discerning ones. Here and there we understand it, 
and laugh at the way in which precisely the best knowledge seeks most to retain us in this SIMPLIFIED, 
thoroughly artificial, suitably imagined, and suitably falsified world: at the way in which, whether it will or 
not, it loves error, because, as living itself, it loves life! 

25. After such a cheerful commencement, a serious word would fain be heard; it appeals to the most serious 
minds. Take care, ye philosophers and friends of knowledge, and beware of martyrdom! Of suffering "for the 
truth's sake"! even in your own defense! It spoils all the innocence and fine neutrality of your conscience; it 
makes you headstrong against objections and red rags; it stupefies, animalizes, and brutalizes, when in the 
struggle with danger, slander, suspicion, expulsion, and even worse consequences of enmity, ye have at last to 
play your last card as protectors of truth upon earth — as though "the Truth" were such an innocent and 
incompetent creature as to require protectors! and you of all people, ye knights of the sorrowful countenance, 
Messrs Loafers and Cobweb-spinners of the spirit! Finally, ye know sufficiently well that it cannot be of any 
consequence if YE just carry your point; ye know that hitherto no philosopher has carried his point, and that 
there might be a more laudable truthfulness in every little interrogative mark which you place after your 
special words and favourite doctrines (and occasionally after yourselves) than in all the solemn pantomime 
and trumping games before accusers and law-courts! Rather go out of the way! Flee into concealment! And 
have your masks and your ruses, that ye may be mistaken for what you are, or somewhat feared! And pray, 
don't forget the garden, the garden with golden trellis-work! And have people around you who are as a 
garden — or as music on the waters at eventide, when already the day becomes a memory. Choose the GOOD 
solitude, the free, wanton, lightsome solitude, which also gives you the right still to remain good in any sense 
whatsoever! How poisonous, how crafty, how bad, does every long war make one, which cannot be waged 
openly by means of force! How PERSONAL does a long fear make one, a long watching of enemies, of 
possible enemies! These pariahs of society, these long-pursued, badly-persecuted ones — also the compulsory 
recluses, the Spinozas or Giordano Brunos — always become in the end, even under the most intellectual 
masquerade, and perhaps without being themselves aware of it, refined vengeance-seekers and 
poison-Brewers (just lay bare the foundation of Spinoza's ethics and theology!), not to speak of the stupidity 
of moral indignation, which is the unfailing sign in a philosopher that the sense of philosophical humour has 
left him. The martyrdom of the philosopher, his "sacrifice for the sake of truth," forces into the light whatever 
of the agitator and actor lurks in him; and if one has hitherto contemplated him only with artistic curiosity, 
with regard to many a philosopher it is easy to understand the dangerous desire to see him also in his 
deterioration (deteriorated into a "martyr," into a stage-and- tribune-bawler). Only, that it is necessary with 
such a desire to be clear WHAT spectacle one will see in any case — merely a satyric play, merely an epilogue 
farce, merely the continued proof that the long, real tragedy IS AT AN END, supposing that every philosophy 
has been a long tragedy in its origin. 

26. Every select man strives instinctively for a citadel and a privacy, where he is FREE from the crowd, the 
many, the majority — where he may forget "men who are the rule," as their exception; — exclusive only of the 
case in which he is pushed straight to such men by a still stronger instinct, as a discerner in the great and 
exceptional sense. Whoever, in intercourse with men, does not occasionally glisten in all the green and grey 
colours of distress, owing to disgust, satiety, sympathy, gloominess, and solitariness, is assuredly not a man of 
elevated tastes; supposing, however, that he does not voluntarily take all this burden and disgust upon himself, 
that he persistently avoids it, and remains, as I said, quietly and proudly hidden in his citadel, one thing is then 
certain: he was not made, he was not predestined for knowledge. For as such, he would one day have to say to 
himself: "The devil take my good taste! but 'the rule' is more interesting than the exception — than myself, the 
exception!" And he would go DOWN, and above all, he would go "inside." The long and serious study of the 
AVERAGE man — and consequently much disguise, self-overcoming, familiarity, and bad intercourse (all 
intercourse is bad intercourse except with one's equals): — that constitutes a necessary part of the life-history 


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of every philosopher; perhaps the most disagreeable, odious, and disappointing part. If he is fortunate, 
however, as a favourite child of knowledge should be, he will meet with suitable auxiliaries who will shorten 
and lighten his task; I mean so- called cynics, those who simply recognize the animal, the commonplace and 
"the rule" in themselves, and at the same time have so much spirituality and ticklishness as to make them talk 
of themselves and their like BEFORE WITNESSES — sometimes they wallow, even in books, as on their own 
dung-hill. Cynicism is the only form in which base souls approach what is called honesty; and the higher man 
must open his ears to all the coarser or finer cynicism, and congratulate himself when the clown becomes 
shameless right before him, or the scientific satyr speaks out. There are even cases where enchantment mixes 
with the disgust — namely, where by a freak of nature, genius is bound to some such indiscreet billy-goat and 
ape, as in the case of the Abbe Galiani, the profoundest, acutest, and perhaps also filthiest man of his 
century — he was far profounder than Voltaire, and consequently also, a good deal more silent. It happens 
more frequently, as has been hinted, that a scientific head is placed on an ape's body, a fine exceptional 
understanding in a base soul, an occurrence by no means rare, especially among doctors and moral 
physiologists. And whenever anyone speaks without bitterness, or rather quite innocently, of man as a belly 
with two requirements, and a head with one; whenever any one sees, seeks, and WANTS to see only hunger, 
sexual instinct, and vanity as the real and only motives of human actions; in short, when any one speaks 
"badly" — and not even "ill" — of man, then ought the lover of knowledge to hearken attentively and diligently; 
he ought, in general, to have an open ear wherever there is talk without indignation. For the indignant man, 
and he who perpetually tears and lacerates himself with his own teeth (or, in place of himself, the world, God, 
or society), may indeed, morally speaking, stand higher than the laughing and self-satisfied satyr, but in every 
other sense he is the more ordinary, more indifferent, and less instructive case. And no one is such a LIAR as 
the indignant man. 

27. It is difficult to be understood, especially when one thinks and lives gangasrotogati [Footnote: Like the 
river Ganges: presto.] among those only who think and live otherwise — namely, kurmagati [Footnote: Like 
the tortoise: lento.], or at best "froglike," mandeikagati [Footnote: Like the frog: staccato.] (I do everything to 
be "difficultly understood" myself!) — and one should be heartily grateful for the good will to some refinement 
of interpretation. As regards "the good friends," however, who are always too easy-going, and think that as 
friends they have a right to ease, one does well at the very first to grant them a play-ground and 
romping-place for misunderstanding — one can thus laugh still; or get rid of them altogether, these good 
friends — and laugh then also ! 

28. What is most difficult to render from one language into another is the TEMPO of its style, which has its 
basis in the character of the race, or to speak more physiologically, in the average TEMPO of the assimilation 
of its nutriment. There are honestly meant translations, which, as involuntary vulgarizations, are almost 
falsifications of the original, merely because its lively and merry TEMPO (which overleaps and obviates all 
dangers in word and expression) could not also be rendered. A German is almost incapacitated for PRESTO in 
his language; consequently also, as may be reasonably inferred, for many of the most delightful and daring 
NUANCES of free, free-spirited thought. And just as the buffoon and satyr are foreign to him in body and 
conscience, so Aristophanes and Petronius are untranslatable for him. Everything ponderous, viscous, and 
pompously clumsy, all long-winded and wearying species of style, are developed in profuse variety among 
Germans — pardon me for stating the fact that even Goethe's prose, in its mixture of stiffness and elegance, is 
no exception, as a reflection of the "good old time" to which it belongs, and as an expression of German taste 
at a time when there was still a "German taste," which was a rococo-taste in moribus et artibus. Lessing is an 
exception, owing to his histrionic nature, which understood much, and was versed in many things; he who 
was not the translator of Bayle to no purpose, who took refuge willingly in the shadow of Diderot and 
Voltaire, and still more willingly among the Roman comedy-writers — Lessing loved also free-spiritism in 
the TEMPO, and flight out of Germany. But how could the German language, even in the prose of Lessing, 
imitate the TEMPO of Machiavelli, who in his "Principe" makes us breathe the dry, fine air of Florence, and 
cannot help presenting the most serious events in a boisterous allegrissimo, perhaps not without a malicious 
artistic sense of the contrast he ventures to present — long, heavy, difficult, dangerous thoughts, and a TEMPO 


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of the gallop, and of the best, wantonest humour? Finally, who would venture on a German translation of 
Petronius, who, more than any great musician hitherto, was a master of PRESTO in invention, ideas, and 
words? What matter in the end about the swamps of the sick, evil world, or of the "ancient world," when like 
him, one has the feet of a wind, the rush, the breath, the emancipating scorn of a wind, which makes 
everything healthy, by making everything RUN! And with regard to Aristophanes — that transfiguring, 
complementary genius, for whose sake one PARDONS all Hellenism for having existed, provided one has 
understood in its full profundity ALL that there requires pardon and transfiguration; there is nothing that has 
caused me to meditate more on PLATO'S secrecy and sphinx-like nature, than the happily preserved petit fait 
that under the pillow of his death-bed there was found no "Bible," nor anything Egyptian, Pythagorean, or 
Platonic — but a book of Aristophanes. How could even Plato have endured life — a Greek life which he 
repudiated — without an Aristophanes ! 

29. It is the business of the very few to be independent; it is a privilege of the strong. And whoever attempts it, 
even with the best right, but without being OBLIGED to do so, proves that he is probably not only strong, but 
also daring beyond measure. He enters into a labyrinth, he multiplies a thousandfold the dangers which life in 
itself already brings with it; not the least of which is that no one can see how and where he loses his way, 
becomes isolated, and is torn piecemeal by some minotaur of conscience. Supposing such a one comes to 
grief, it is so far from the comprehension of men that they neither feel it, nor sympathize with it. And he 
cannot any longer go back! He cannot even go back again to the sympathy of men! 

30. Our deepest insights must — and should — appear as follies, and under certain circumstances as crimes, 
when they come unauthorizedly to the ears of those who are not disposed and predestined for them. The 
exoteric and the esoteric, as they were formerly distinguished by philosophers — among the Indians, as among 
the Greeks, Persians, and Mussulmans, in short, wherever people believed in gradations of rank and NOT in 
equality and equal rights — are not so much in contradistinction to one another in respect to the exoteric class, 
standing without, and viewing, estimating, measuring, and judging from the outside, and not from the inside; 
the more essential distinction is that the class in question views things from below upwards — while the 
esoteric class views things FROM ABOVE DOWNWARDS. There are heights of the soul from which 
tragedy itself no longer appears to operate tragically; and if all the woe in the world were taken together, who 
would dare to decide whether the sight of it would NECESSARILY seduce and constrain to sympathy, and 
thus to a doubling of the woe? . . . That which serves the higher class of men for nourishment or refreshment, 
must be almost poison to an entirely different and lower order of human beings. The virtues of the common 
man would perhaps mean vice and weakness in a philosopher; it might be possible for a highly developed 
man, supposing him to degenerate and go to ruin, to acquire qualities thereby alone, for the sake of which he 
would have to be honoured as a saint in the lower world into which he had sunk. There are books which have 
an inverse value for the soul and the health according as the inferior soul and the lower vitality, or the higher 
and more powerful, make use of them. In the former case they are dangerous, disturbing, unsettling books, in 
the latter case they are herald-calls which summon the bravest to THEIR bravery. Books for the general 
reader are always ill-smelling books, the odour of paltry people clings to them. Where the populace eat and 
drink, and even where they reverence, it is accustomed to stink. One should not go into churches if one wishes 
to breathe PURE air. 

3 1 . In our youthful years we still venerate and despise without the art of NUANCE, which is the best gain of 
life, and we have rightly to do hard penance for having fallen upon men and things with Yea and Nay. 
Everything is so arranged that the worst of all tastes, THE TASTE FOR THE UNCONDITIONAL, is cruelly 
befooled and abused, until a man learns to introduce a little art into his sentiments, and prefers to try 
conclusions with the artificial, as do the real artists of life. The angry and reverent spirit peculiar to youth 
appears to allow itself no peace, until it has suitably falsified men and things, to be able to vent its passion 
upon them: youth in itself even, is something falsifying and deceptive. Later on, when the young soul, tortured 
by continual disillusions, finally turns suspiciously against itself — still ardent and savage even in its suspicion 
and remorse of conscience: how it upbraids itself, how impatiently it tears itself, how it revenges itself for its 


Beyond Good and Evil 

long self-blinding, as though it had been a voluntary blindness! In this transition one punishes oneself by 
distrust of one's sentiments; one tortures one's enthusiasm with doubt, one feels even the good conscience to 
be a danger, as if it were the self-concealment and lassitude of a more refined uprightness; and above all, one 
espouses upon principle the cause AGAINST "youth." — A decade later, and one comprehends that all this 
was also still — youth! 

32. Throughout the longest period of human history — one calls it the prehistoric period — the value or 
non-value of an action was inferred from its CONSEQUENCES; the action in itself was not taken into 
consideration, any more than its origin; but pretty much as in China at present, where the distinction or 
disgrace of a child redounds to its parents, the retro-operating power of success or failure was what induced 
men to think well or ill of an action. Let us call this period the PRE-MORAL period of mankind; the 
imperative, "Know thyself!" was then still unknown. — In the last ten thousand years, on the other hand, on 
certain large portions of the earth, one has gradually got so far, that one no longer lets the consequences of an 
action, but its origin, decide with regard to its worth: a great achievement as a whole, an important refinement 
of vision and of criterion, the unconscious effect of the supremacy of aristocratic values and of the belief in 
"origin," the mark of a period which may be designated in the narrower sense as the MORAL one: the first 
attempt at self-knowledge is thereby made. Instead of the consequences, the origin — what an inversion of 
perspective! And assuredly an inversion effected only after long struggle and wavering! To be sure, an 
ominous new superstition, a peculiar narrowness of interpretation, attained supremacy precisely thereby: the 
origin of an action was interpreted in the most definite sense possible, as origin out of an INTENTION; 
people were agreed in the belief that the value of an action lay in the value of its intention. The intention as 
the sole origin and antecedent history of an action: under the influence of this prejudice moral praise and 
blame have been bestowed, and men have judged and even philosophized almost up to the present day. — Is it 
not possible, however, that the necessity may now have arisen of again making up our minds with regard to 
the reversing and fundamental shifting of values, owing to a new self-consciousness and acuteness in 

man — is it not possible that we may be standing on the threshold of a period which to begin with, would be 
distinguished negatively as ULTRA-MORAL: nowadays when, at least among us immoralists, the suspicion 
arises that the decisive value of an action lies precisely in that which is NOT INTENTIONAL, and that all its 
intentionalness, all that is seen, sensible, or "sensed" in it, belongs to its surface or skin — which, like every 
skin, betrays something, but CONCEALS still more? In short, we believe that the intention is only a sign or 
symptom, which first requires an explanation — a sign, moreover, which has too many interpretations, and 
consequently hardly any meaning in itself alone: that morality, in the sense in which it has been understood 
hitherto, as intention-morality, has been a prejudice, perhaps a prematureness or preliminariness, probably 
something of the same rank as astrology and alchemy, but in any case something which must be surmounted. 
The surmounting of morality, in a certain sense even the self-mounting of morality — let that be the name for 
the long-secret labour which has been reserved for the most refined, the most upright, and also the most 
wicked consciences of today, as the living touchstones of the soul. 

33. It cannot be helped: the sentiment of surrender, of sacrifice for one's neighbour, and all 
self-renunciation-morality, must be mercilessly called to account, and brought to judgment; just as the 
aesthetics of "disinterested contemplation," under which the emasculation of art nowadays seeks insidiously 
enough to create itself a good conscience. There is far too much witchery and sugar in the sentiments "for 
others" and "NOT for myself," for one not needing to be doubly distrustful here, and for one asking promptly: 
"Are they not perhaps — DECEPTIONS?" — That they PLEASE — him who has them, and him who enjoys 
their fruit, and also the mere spectator — that is still no argument in their FAVOUR, but just calls for caution. 
Let us therefore be cautious ! 

34. At whatever standpoint of philosophy one may place oneself nowadays, seen from every position, the 
ERRONEOUSNESS of the world in which we think we live is the surest and most certain thing our eyes can 
light upon: we find proof after proof thereof, which would fain allure us into surmises concerning a deceptive 
principle in the "nature of things." He, however, who makes thinking itself, and consequently "the spirit," 


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responsible for the falseness of the world — an honourable exit, which every conscious or unconscious 
advocatus dei avails himself of — he who regards this world, including space, time, form, and movement, as 
falsely DEDUCED, would have at least good reason in the end to become distrustful also of all thinking; has 
it not hitherto been playing upon us the worst of scurvy tricks? and what guarantee would it give that it would 
not continue to do what it has always been doing? In all seriousness, the innocence of thinkers has something 
touching and respect-inspiring in it, which even nowadays permits them to wait upon consciousness with the 
request that it will give them HONEST answers: for example, whether it be "real" or not, and why it keeps the 
outer world so resolutely at a distance, and other questions of the same description. The belief in "immediate 
certainties" is a MORAL NAIVETE which does honour to us philosophers; but — we have now to cease being 
"MERELY moral" men! Apart from morality, such belief is a folly which does little honour to us! If in 
middle-class life an ever-ready distrust is regarded as the sign of a "bad character," and consequently as an 
imprudence, here among us, beyond the middle- class world and its Yeas and Nays, what should prevent our 
being imprudent and saying: the philosopher has at length a RIGHT to "bad character," as the being who has 
hitherto been most befooled on earth — he is now under OBLIGATION to distrustfulness, to the wickedest 
squinting out of every abyss of suspicion. — Forgive me the joke of this gloomy grimace and turn of 
expression; for I myself have long ago learned to think and estimate differently with regard to deceiving and 
being deceived, and I keep at least a couple of pokes in the ribs ready for the blind rage with which 
philosophers struggle against being deceived. Why NOT? It is nothing more than a moral prejudice that truth 
is worth more than semblance; it is, in fact, the worst proved supposition in the world. So much must be 
conceded: there could have been no life at all except upon the basis of perspective estimates and semblances; 
and if, with the virtuous enthusiasm and stupidity of many philosophers, one wished to do away altogether 
with the "seeming world" — well, granted that YOU could do that, — at least nothing of your "truth" would 
thereby remain! Indeed, what is it that forces us in general to the supposition that there is an essential 
opposition of "true" and "false"? Is it not enough to suppose degrees of seemingness, and as it were lighter 
and darker shades and tones of semblance — different valeurs, as the painters say? Why might not the world 
WHICH CONCERNS US — be a fiction? And to any one who suggested: "But to a fiction belongs an 
originator?" — might it not be bluntly replied: WHY? May not this "belong" also belong to the fiction? Is it 
not at length permitted to be a little ironical towards the subject, just as towards the predicate and object? 
Might not the philosopher elevate himself above faith in grammar? All respect to governesses, but is it not 
time that philosophy should renounce governess-faith? 

35. O Voltaire! O humanity! O idiocy! There is something ticklish in "the truth," and in the SEARCH for the 
truth; and if man goes about it too humanely — "il ne cherche le vrai que pour faire le bien" — I wager he finds 
nothing ! 

36. Supposing that nothing else is "given" as real but our world of desires and passions, that we cannot sink or 
rise to any other "reality" but just that of our impulses — for thinking is only a relation of these impulses to one 
another: — are we not permitted to make the attempt and to ask the question whether this which is "given" 
does not SUFFICE, by means of our counterparts, for the understanding even of the so-called mechanical (or 
"material") world? I do not mean as an illusion, a "semblance," a "representation" (in the Berkeleyan and 
Schopenhauerian sense), but as possessing the same degree of reality as our emotions themselves — as a more 
primitive form of the world of emotions, in which everything still lies locked in a mighty unity, which 
afterwards branches off and develops itself in organic processes (naturally also, refines and debilitates) — as a 
kind of instinctive life in which all organic functions, including self-regulation, assimilation, nutrition, 
secretion, and change of matter, are still synthetically united with one another — as a PRIMARY FORM of 
life? — In the end, it is not only permitted to make this attempt, it is commanded by the conscience of 
LOGICAL METHOD. Not to assume several kinds of causality, so long as the attempt to get along with a 
single one has not been pushed to its furthest extent (to absurdity, if I may be allowed to say so): that is a 
morality of method which one may not repudiate nowadays — it follows "from its definition," as 
mathematicians say. The question is ultimately whether we really recognize the will as OPERATING, 
whether we believe in the causality of the will; if we do so — and fundamentally our belief IN THIS is just our 


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belief in causality itself — we MUST make the attempt to posit hypothetically the causality of the will as the 
only causality. "Will" can naturally only operate on "will" — and not on "matter" (not on "nerves," for 
instance): in short, the hypothesis must be hazarded, whether will does not operate on will wherever "effects" 
are recognized — and whether all mechanical action, inasmuch as a power operates therein, is not just the 
power of will, the effect of will. Granted, finally, that we succeeded in explaining our entire instinctive life as 
the development and ramification of one fundamental form of will — namely, the Will to Power, as my thesis 
puts it; granted that all organic functions could be traced back to this Will to Power, and that the solution of 
the problem of generation and nutrition — it is one problem — could also be found therein: one would thus 
have acquired the right to define ALL active force unequivocally as WILL TO POWER. The world seen from 
within, the world defined and designated according to its "intelligible character" — it would simply be "Will to 
Power," and nothing else. 

37. "What? Does not that mean in popular language: God is disproved, but not the devil?" — On the contrary! 
On the contrary, my friends! And who the devil also compels you to speak popularly! 

38. As happened finally in all the enlightenment of modern times with the French Revolution (that terrible 
farce, quite superfluous when judged close at hand, into which, however, the noble and visionary spectators of 
all Europe have interpreted from a distance their own indignation and enthusiasm so long and passionately, 
once more misunderstand the whole of the past, and perhaps only thereby make ITS aspect endurable. — Or 
rather, has not this already happened? Have not we ourselves been — that "noble posterity"? And, in so far as 
we now comprehend this, is it not — thereby already past? 

39. Nobody will very readily regard a doctrine as true merely because it makes people happy or 
virtuous — excepting, perhaps, the amiable "Idealists," who are enthusiastic about the good, true, and 
beautiful, and let all kinds of motley, coarse, and good-natured desirabilities swim about promiscuously in 
their pond. Happiness and virtue are no arguments. It is willingly forgotten, however, even on the part of 
thoughtful minds, that to make unhappy and to make bad are just as little counter- arguments. A thing could 
be TRUE, although it were in the highest degree injurious and dangerous; indeed, the fundamental 
constitution of existence might be such that one succumbed by a full knowledge of it — so that the strength of 
a mind might be measured by the amount of "truth" it could endure — or to speak more plainly, by the extent 
to which it REQUIRED truth attenuated, veiled, sweetened, damped, and falsified. But there is no doubt that 
for the discovery of certain PORTIONS of truth the wicked and unfortunate are more favourably situated and 
have a greater likelihood of success; not to speak of the wicked who are happy — a species about whom 
moralists are silent. Perhaps severity and craft are more favourable conditions for the development of strong, 
independent spirits and philosophers than the gentle, refined, yielding good-nature, and habit of taking things 
easily, which are prized, and rightly prized in a learned man. Presupposing always, to begin with, that the term 
"philosopher" be not confined to the philosopher who writes books, or even introduces HIS philosophy into 
books! — Stendhal furnishes a last feature of the portrait of the free-spirited philosopher, which for the sake of 
German taste I will not omit to underline — for it is OPPOSED to German taste. "Pour etre bon philosophe," 
says this last great psychologist, "il faut etre sec, clair, sans illusion. Un banquier, qui a fait fortune, a une 
partie du caractere requis pour faire des decouvertes en philosophic, c'est-a-dire pour voir clair dans ce qui 

40. Everything that is profound loves the mask: the profoundest things have a hatred even of figure and 
likeness. Should not the CONTRARY only be the right disguise for the shame of a God to go about in? A 
question worth asking! — it would be strange if some mystic has not already ventured on the same kind of 
thing. There are proceedings of such a delicate nature that it is well to overwhelm them with coarseness and 
make them unrecognizable; there are actions of love and of an extravagant magnanimity after which nothing 
can be wiser than to take a stick and thrash the witness soundly: one thereby obscures his recollection. Many a 
one is able to obscure and abuse his own memory, in order at least to have vengeance on this sole party in the 


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secret: shame is inventive. They are not the worst things of which one is most ashamed: there is not only 
deceit behind a mask — there is so much goodness in craft. I could imagine that a man with something costly 
and fragile to conceal, would roll through life clumsily and rotundly like an old, green, heavily-hooped 
wine-cask: the refinement of his shame requiring it to be so. A man who has depths in his shame meets his 
destiny and his delicate decisions upon paths which few ever reach, and with regard to the existence of which 
his nearest and most intimate friends may be ignorant; his mortal danger conceals itself from their eyes, and 
equally so his regained security. Such a hidden nature, which instinctively employs speech for silence and 
concealment, and is inexhaustible in evasion of communication, DESIRES and insists that a mask of himself 
shall occupy his place in the hearts and heads of his friends; and supposing he does not desire it, his eyes will 
some day be opened to the fact that there is nevertheless a mask of him there — and that it is well to be so. 
Every profound spirit needs a mask; nay, more, around every profound spirit there continually grows a mask, 
owing to the constantly false, that is to say, SUPERFICIAL interpretation of every word he utters, every step 
he takes, every sign of life he manifests. 

41. One must subject oneself to one's own tests that one is destined for independence and command, and do so 
at the right time. One must not avoid one's tests, although they constitute perhaps the most dangerous game 
one can play, and are in the end tests made only before ourselves and before no other judge. Not to cleave to 
any person, be it even the dearest — every person is a prison and also a recess. Not to cleave to a fatherland, be 
it even the most suffering and necessitous — it is even less difficult to detach one's heart from a victorious 
fatherland. Not to cleave to a sympathy, be it even for higher men, into whose peculiar torture and 
helplessness chance has given us an insight. Not to cleave to a science, though it tempt one with the most 
valuable discoveries, apparently specially reserved for us. Not to cleave to one's own liberation, to the 
voluptuous distance and remoteness of the bird, which always flies further aloft in order always to see more 
under it — the danger of the flier. Not to cleave to our own virtues, nor become as a whole a victim to any of 
our specialties, to our "hospitality" for instance, which is the danger of dangers for highly developed and 
wealthy souls, who deal prodigally, almost indifferently with themselves, and push the virtue of liberality so 
far that it becomes a vice. One must know how TO CONSERVE ONESELF — the best test of independence. 

42. A new order of philosophers is appearing; I shall venture to baptize them by a name not without danger. 
As far as I understand them, as far as they allow themselves to be understood — for it is their nature to WISH 
to remain something of a puzzle — these philosophers of the future might rightly, perhaps also wrongly, claim 
to be designated as "tempters." This name itself is after all only an attempt, or, if it be preferred, a temptation. 

43. Will they be new friends of "truth," these coming philosophers? Very probably, for all philosophers 
hitherto have loved their truths. But assuredly they will not be dogmatists. It must be contrary to their pride, 
and also contrary to their taste, that their truth should still be truth for every one — that which has hitherto been 
the secret wish and ultimate purpose of all dogmatic efforts. "My opinion is MY opinion: another person has 
not easily a right to it" — such a philosopher of the future will say, perhaps. One must renounce the bad taste of 
wishing to agree with many people. "Good" is no longer good when one's neighbour takes it into his mouth. 
And how could there be a "common good"! The expression contradicts itself; that which can be common is 
always of small value. In the end things must be as they are and have always been — the great things remain 
for the great, the abysses for the profound, the delicacies and thrills for the refined, and, to sum up shortly, 
everything rare for the rare. 

44. Need I say expressly after all this that they will be free, VERY free spirits, these philosophers of the 
future — as certainly also they will not be merely free spirits, but something more, higher, greater, and 
fundamentally different, which does not wish to be misunderstood and mistaken? But while I say this, I feel 
under OBLIGATION almost as much to them as to ourselves (we free spirits who are their heralds and 
forerunners), to sweep away from ourselves altogether a stupid old prejudice and misunderstanding, which, 
like a fog, has too long made the conception of "free spirit" obscure. In every country of Europe, and the same 
in America, there is at present something which makes an abuse of this name a very narrow, prepossessed, 


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enchained class of spirits, who desire almost the opposite of what our intentions and instincts prompt — not to 
mention that in respect to the NEW philosophers who are appearing, they must still more be closed windows 
and bolted doors. Briefly and regrettably, they belong to the LEVELLERS, these wrongly named "free 
spirits" — as glib-tongued and scribe-fingered slaves of the democratic taste and its "modern ideas" all of 
them men without solitude, without personal solitude, blunt honest fellows to whom neither courage nor 
honourable conduct ought to be denied, only, they are not free, and are ludicrously superficial, especially in 
their innate partiality for seeing the cause of almost ALL human misery and failure in the old forms in which 
society has hitherto existed — a notion which happily inverts the truth entirely ! What they would fain attain 
with all their strength, is the universal, green-meadow happiness of the herd, together with security, safety, 
comfort, and alleviation of life for every one, their two most frequently chanted songs and doctrines are called 
"Equality of Rights" and "Sympathy with All Sufferers" — and suffering itself is looked upon by them as 
something which must be DONE AWAY WITH. We opposite ones, however, who have opened our eye and 
conscience to the question how and where the plant "man" has hitherto grown most vigorously, believe that 
this has always taken place under the opposite conditions, that for this end the dangerousness of his situation 
had to be increased enormously, his inventive faculty and dissembling power (his "spirit") had to develop into 
subtlety and daring under long oppression and compulsion, and his Will to Life had to be increased to the 
unconditioned Will to Power — we believe that severity, violence, slavery, danger in the street and in the heart, 
secrecy, stoicism, tempter's art and devilry of every kind, — that everything wicked, terrible, tyrannical, 
predatory, and serpentine in man, serves as well for the elevation of the human species as its opposite — we do 
not even say enough when we only say THIS MUCH, and in any case we find ourselves here, both with our 
speech and our silence, at the OTHER extreme of all modern ideology and gregarious desirability, as their 
anti-podes perhaps? What wonder that we "free spirits" are not exactly the most communicative spirits? that 
we do not wish to betray in every respect WHAT a spirit can free itself from, and WHERE perhaps it will then 
be driven? And as to the import of the dangerous formula, "Beyond Good and Evil," with which we at least 
avoid confusion, we ARE something else than "libres-penseurs," "liben pensatori" "free-thinkers," and 
whatever these honest advocates of "modern ideas" like to call themselves. Having been at home, or at least 
guests, in many realms of the spirit, having escaped again and again from the gloomy, agreeable nooks in 
which preferences and prejudices, youth, origin, the accident of men and books, or even the weariness of 
travel seemed to confine us, full of malice against the seductions of dependency which he concealed in 
honours, money, positions, or exaltation of the senses, grateful even for distress and the vicissitudes of illness, 
because they always free us from some rule, and its "prejudice," grateful to the God, devil, sheep, and worm 
in us, inquisitive to a fault, investigators to the point of cruelty, with unhesitating fingers for the intangible, 
with teeth and stomachs for the most indigestible, ready for any business that requires sagacity and acute 
senses, ready for every adventure, owing to an excess of "free will", with anterior and posterior souls, into the 
ultimate intentions of which it is difficult to pry, with foregrounds and backgrounds to the end of which no 
foot may run, hidden ones under the mantles of light, appropriators, although we resemble heirs and 
spendthrifts, arrangers and collectors from morning till night, misers of our wealth and our full-crammed 
drawers, economical in learning and forgetting, inventive in scheming, sometimes proud of tables of 
categories, sometimes pedants, sometimes night-owls of work even in full day, yea, if necessary, even 
scarecrows — and it is necessary nowadays, that is to say, inasmuch as we are the born, sworn, jealous friends 
of SOLITUDE, of our own profoundest midnight and midday solitude — such kind of men are we, we free 
spirits! And perhaps ye are also something of the same kind, ye coming ones? ye NEW philosophers? 


45. The human soul and its limits, the range of man's inner experiences hitherto attained, the heights, depths, 
and distances of these experiences, the entire history of the soul UP TO THE PRESENT TIME, and its still 
unexhausted possibilities: this is the preordained hunting-domain for a born psychologist and lover of a "big 
hunt". But how often must he say despairingly to himself: "A single individual! alas, only a single individual! 
and this great forest, this virgin forest!" So he would like to have some hundreds of hunting assistants, and 
fine trained hounds, that he could send into the history of the human soul, to drive HIS game together. In vain: 


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again and again he experiences, profoundly and bitterly, how difficult it is to find assistants and dogs for all 
the things that directly excite his curiosity. The evil of sending scholars into new and dangerous 
hunting-domains, where courage, sagacity, and subtlety in every sense are required, is that they are no longer 
serviceable just when the "BIG hunt," and also the great danger commences, — it is precisely then that they 
lose their keen eye and nose. In order, for instance, to divine and determine what sort of history the problem 
of KNOWLEDGE AND CONSCIENCE has hitherto had in the souls of homines religiosi, a person would 
perhaps himself have to possess as profound, as bruised, as immense an experience as the intellectual 
conscience of Pascal; and then he would still require that wide-spread heaven of clear, wicked spirituality, 
which, from above, would be able to oversee, arrange, and effectively formulize this mass of dangerous and 
painful experiences. — But who could do me this service! And who would have time to wait for such 
servants! — they evidently appear too rarely, they are so improbable at all times! Eventually one must do 
everything ONESELF in order to know something; which means that one has MUCH to do! — But a curiosity 
like mine is once for all the most agreeable of vices — pardon me ! I mean to say that the love of truth has its 
reward in heaven, and already upon earth. 

46. Faith, such as early Christianity desired, and not infrequently achieved in the midst of a skeptical and 
southernly free-spirited world, which had centuries of struggle between philosophical schools behind it and in 
it, counting besides the education in tolerance which the Imperium Romanum gave — this faith is NOT that 
sincere, austere slave-faith by which perhaps a Luther or a Cromwell, or some other northern barbarian of the 
spirit remained attached to his God and Christianity, it is much rather the faith of Pascal, which resembles in a 
terrible manner a continuous suicide of reason — a tough, long-lived, worm-like reason, which is not to be 
slain at once and with a single blow. The Christian faith from the beginning, is sacrifice the sacrifice of all 
freedom, all pride, all self-confidence of spirit, it is at the same time subjection, self-derision, and 
self-mutilation. There is cruelty and religious Phoenicianism in this faith, which is adapted to a tender, 
many-sided, and very fastidious conscience, it takes for granted that the subjection of the spirit is 
indescribably PAINFUL, that all the past and all the habits of such a spirit resist the absurdissimum, in the 
form of which "faith" comes to it. Modern men, with their obtuseness as regards all Christian nomenclature, 
have no longer the sense for the terribly superlative conception which was implied to an antique taste by the 
paradox of the formula, "God on the Cross". Hitherto there had never and nowhere been such boldness in 
inversion, nor anything at once so dreadful, questioning, and questionable as this formula: it promised a 
transvaluation of all ancient values — It was the Orient, the PROFOUND Orient, it was the Oriental slave who 
thus took revenge on Rome and its noble, light-minded toleration, on the Roman "Catholicism" of non-faith, 
and it was always not the faith, but the freedom from the faith, the half-stoical and smiling indifference to the 
seriousness of the faith, which made the slaves indignant at their masters and revolt against them. 
"Enlightenment" causes revolt, for the slave desires the unconditioned, he understands nothing but the 
tyrannous, even in morals, he loves as he hates, without NUANCE, to the very depths, to the point of pain, to 
the point of sickness — his many HIDDEN sufferings make him revolt against the noble taste which seems to 
DENY suffering. The skepticism with regard to suffering, fundamentally only an attitude of aristocratic 
morality, was not the least of the causes, also, of the last great slave-insurrection which began with the French 

47. Wherever the religious neurosis has appeared on the earth so far, we find it connected with three 
dangerous prescriptions as to regimen: solitude, fasting, and sexual abstinence — but without its being possible 
to determine with certainty which is cause and which is effect, or IF any relation at all of cause and effect 
exists there. This latter doubt is justified by the fact that one of the most regular symptoms among savage as 
well as among civilized peoples is the most sudden and excessive sensuality, which then with equal 
suddenness transforms into penitential paroxysms, world-renunciation, and will-renunciation, both 
symptoms perhaps explainable as disguised epilepsy? But nowhere is it MORE obligatory to put aside 
explanations around no other type has there grown such a mass of absurdity and superstition, no other type 
seems to have been more interesting to men and even to philosophers — perhaps it is time to become just a 
little indifferent here, to learn caution, or, better still, to look AWAY, TO GO AWAY — Yet in the 


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background of the most recent philosophy, that of Schopenhauer, we find almost as the problem in itself, this 
terrible note of interrogation of the religious crisis and awakening. How is the negation of will POSSIBLE? 
how is the saint possible? — that seems to have been the very question with which Schopenhauer made a start 
and became a philosopher. And thus it was a genuine Schopenhauerian consequence, that his most convinced 
adherent (perhaps also his last, as far as Germany is concerned), namely, Richard Wagner, should bring his 
own life- work to an end just here, and should finally put that terrible and eternal type upon the stage as 
Kundry, type vecu, and as it loved and lived, at the very time that the mad-doctors in almost all European 
countries had an opportunity to study the type close at hand, wherever the religious neurosis — or as I call it, 
"the religious mood" — made its latest epidemical outbreak and display as the "Salvation Army" — If it be a 
question, however, as to what has been so extremely interesting to men of all sorts in all ages, and even to 
philosophers, in the whole phenomenon of the saint, it is undoubtedly the appearance of the miraculous 
therein — namely, the immediate SUCCESSION OF OPPOSITES, of states of the soul regarded as morally 
antithetical: it was believed here to be self-evident that a "bad man" was all at once turned into a "saint," a 
good man. The hitherto existing psychology was wrecked at this point, is it not possible it may have happened 
principally because psychology had placed itself under the dominion of morals, because it BELIEVED in 
oppositions of moral values, and saw, read, and INTERPRETED these oppositions into the text and facts of 
the case? What? "Miracle" only an error of interpretation? A lack of philology? 

48. It seems that the Latin races are far more deeply attached to their Catholicism than we Northerners are to 
Christianity generally, and that consequently unbelief in Catholic countries means something quite different 
from what it does among Protestants — namely, a sort of revolt against the spirit of the race, while with us it is 
rather a return to the spirit (or non- spirit) of the race. 

We Northerners undoubtedly derive our origin from barbarous races, even as regards our talents for 
religion — we have POOR talents for it. One may make an exception in the case of the Celts, who have 
theretofore furnished also the best soil for Christian infection in the North: the Christian ideal blossomed forth 
in France as much as ever the pale sun of the north would allow it. How strangely pious for our taste are still 
these later French skeptics, whenever there is any Celtic blood in their origin! How Catholic, how un-German 
does Auguste Comte's Sociology seem to us, with the Roman logic of its instincts! How Jesuitical, that 
amiable and shrewd cicerone of Port Royal, Sainte-Beuve, in spite of all his hostility to Jesuits! And even 
Ernest Renan: how inaccessible to us Northerners does the language of such a Renan appear, in whom every 
instant the merest touch of religious thrill throws his refined voluptuous and comfortably couching soul off its 
balance! Let us repeat after him these fine sentences — and what wickedness and haughtiness is immediately 
aroused by way of answer in our probably less beautiful but harder souls, that is to say, in our more German 
MIEUX?" . . . These sentences are so extremely ANTIPODAL to my ears and habits of thought, that in my 
first impulse of rage on finding them, I wrote on the margin, "LA NIAISERIE RELIGIEUSE PAR 
EXCELLENCE!" — until in my later rage I even took a fancy to them, these sentences with their truth 
absolutely inverted! It is so nice and such a distinction to have one's own antipodes! 

49. That which is so astonishing in the religious life of the ancient Greeks is the irrestrainable stream of 
GRATITUDE which it pours forth — it is a very superior kind of man who takes SUCH an attitude towards 
nature and life. — Later on, when the populace got the upper hand in Greece, FEAR became rampant also in 
religion; and Christianity was preparing itself. 


Beyond Good and Evil 

50. The passion for God: there are churlish, honest-hearted, and importunate kinds of it, like that of 

Luther — the whole of Protestantism lacks the southern DELICATEZZA. There is an Oriental exaltation of the 
mind in it, like that of an undeservedly favoured or elevated slave, as in the case of St. Augustine, for 
instance, who lacks in an offensive manner, all nobility in bearing and desires. There is a feminine tenderness 
and sensuality in it, which modestly and unconsciously longs for a UNIO MYSTICA ET PHYSICA, as in the 
case of Madame de Guyon. In many cases it appears, curiously enough, as the disguise of a girl's or youth's 
puberty; here and there even as the hysteria of an old maid, also as her last ambition. The Church has 
frequently canonized the woman in such a case. 

51. The mightiest men have hitherto always bowed reverently before the saint, as the enigma of 
self-subjugation and utter voluntary privation — why did they thus bow? They divined in him — and as it were 
behind the questionableness of his frail and wretched appearance — the superior force which wished to test 
itself by such a subjugation; the strength of will, in which they recognized their own strength and love of 
power, and knew how to honour it: they honoured something in themselves when they honoured the saint. In 
addition to this, the contemplation of the saint suggested to them a suspicion: such an enormity of self- 
negation and anti-naturalness will not have been coveted for nothing — they have said, inquiringly. There is 
perhaps a reason for it, some very great danger, about which the ascetic might wish to be more accurately 
informed through his secret interlocutors and visitors? In a word, the mighty ones of the world learned to have 
a new fear before him, they divined a new power, a strange, still unconquered enemy: — it was the "Will to 
Power" which obliged them to halt before the saint. They had to question him. 

52. In the Jewish "Old Testament," the book of divine justice, there are men, things, and sayings on such an 
immense scale, that Greek and Indian literature has nothing to compare with it. One stands with fear and 
reverence before those stupendous remains of what man was formerly, and one has sad thoughts about old 
Asia and its little out-pushed peninsula Europe, which would like, by all means, to figure before Asia as the 
"Progress of Mankind." To be sure, he who is himself only a slender, tame house-animal, and knows only the 
wants of a house-animal (like our cultured people of today, including the Christians of "cultured" 
Christianity), need neither be amazed nor even sad amid those ruins — the taste for the Old Testament is a 
touchstone with respect to "great" and "small": perhaps he will find that the New Testament, the book of 
grace, still appeals more to his heart (there is much of the odour of the genuine, tender, stupid beadsman and 
petty soul in it). To have bound up this New Testament (a kind of ROCOCO of taste in every respect) along 
with the Old Testament into one book, as the "Bible," as "The Book in Itself," is perhaps the greatest audacity 
and "sin against the Spirit" which literary Europe has upon its conscience. 

53. Why Atheism nowadays? "The father" in God is thoroughly refuted; equally so "the judge," "the 
rewarder." Also his "free will": he does not hear — and even if he did, he would not know how to help. The 
worst is that he seems incapable of communicating himself clearly; is he uncertain? — This is what I have 
made out (by questioning and listening at a variety of conversations) to be the cause of the decline of 
European theism; it appears to me that though the religious instinct is in vigorous growth, — it rejects the 
theistic satisfaction with profound distrust. 

54. What does all modern philosophy mainly do? Since Descartes — and indeed more in defiance of him than 
on the basis of his procedure — an ATTENTAT has been made on the part of all philosophers on the old 
conception of the soul, under the guise of a criticism of the subject and predicate conception — that is to say, 
an ATTENTAT on the fundamental presupposition of Christian doctrine. Modern philosophy, as 
epistemological skepticism, is secretly or openly ANTI-CHRISTIAN, although (for keener ears, be it said) by 
no means anti-religious. Formerly, in effect, one believed in "the soul" as one believed in grammar and the 
grammatical subject: one said, "I" is the condition, "think" is the predicate and is conditioned — to think is an 
activity for which one MUST suppose a subject as cause. The attempt was then made, with marvelous tenacity 
and subtlety, to see if one could not get out of this net, — to see if the opposite was not perhaps true: "think" 
the condition, and "I" the conditioned; "I," therefore, only a synthesis which has been MADE by thinking 


Beyond Good and Evil 

itself. KANT really wished to prove that, starting from the subject, the subject could not be proved — nor the 
object either: the possibility of an APPARENT EXISTENCE of the subject, and therefore of "the soul," may 
not always have been strange to him, — the thought which once had an immense power on earth as the 
Vedanta philosophy. 

55. There is a great ladder of religious cruelty, with many rounds; but three of these are the most important. 
Once on a time men sacrificed human beings to their God, and perhaps just those they loved the best — to this 
category belong the firstling sacrifices of all primitive religions, and also the sacrifice of the Emperor Tiberius 
in the Mithra-Grotto on the Island of Capri, that most terrible of all Roman anachronisms. Then, during the 
moral epoch of mankind, they sacrificed to their God the strongest instincts they possessed, their "nature"; 
THIS festal joy shines in the cruel glances of ascetics and "anti-natural" fanatics. Finally, what still remained 
to be sacrificed? Was it not necessary in the end for men to sacrifice everything comforting, holy, healing, all 
hope, all faith in hidden harmonies, in future blessedness and justice? Was it not necessary to sacrifice God 
himself, and out of cruelty to themselves to worship stone, stupidity, gravity, fate, nothingness? To sacrifice 
God for nothingness — this paradoxical mystery of the ultimate cruelty has been reserved for the rising 
generation; we all know something thereof already. 

56. Whoever, like myself, prompted by some enigmatical desire, has long endeavoured to go to the bottom of 
the question of pessimism and free it from the half-Christian, half-German narrowness and stupidity in which 
it has finally presented itself to this century, namely, in the form of Schopenhauer's philosophy; whoever, with 
an Asiatic and super- Asiatic eye, has actually looked inside, and into the most world-renouncing of all 
possible modes of thought — beyond good and evil, and no longer like Buddha and Schopenhauer, under the 
dominion and delusion of morality, — whoever has done this, has perhaps just thereby, without really desiring 
it, opened his eyes to behold the opposite ideal: the ideal of the most world-approving, exuberant, and 
vivacious man, who has not only learnt to compromise and arrange with that which was and is, but wishes to 
have it again AS IT WAS AND IS, for all eternity, insatiably calling out de capo, not only to himself, but to 
the whole piece and play; and not only the play, but actually to him who requires the play — and makes it 
necessary; because he always requires himself anew — and makes himself necessary. — What? And this would 
not be — circulus vitiosus deus? 

57. The distance, and as it were the space around man, grows with the strength of his intellectual vision and 
insight: his world becomes profounder; new stars, new enigmas, and notions are ever coming into view. 
Perhaps everything on which the intellectual eye has exercised its acuteness and profundity has just been an 
occasion for its exercise, something of a game, something for children and childish minds. Perhaps the most 
solemn conceptions that have caused the most fighting and suffering, the conceptions "God" and "sin," will 
one day seem to us of no more importance than a child's plaything or a child's pain seems to an old man; — 
and perhaps another plaything and another pain will then be necessary once more for "the old man" — always 
childish enough, an eternal child! 

58. Has it been observed to what extent outward idleness, or semi-idleness, is necessary to a real religious life 
(alike for its favourite microscopic labour of self-examination, and for its soft placidity called "prayer," the 
state of perpetual readiness for the "coming of God"), I mean the idleness with a good conscience, the idleness 
of olden times and of blood, to which the aristocratic sentiment that work is DISHONOURING — that it 
vulgarizes body and soul — is not quite unfamiliar? And that consequently the modern, noisy, 
time-engrossing, conceited, foolishly proud laboriousness educates and prepares for "unbelief more than 
anything else? Among these, for instance, who are at present living apart from religion in Germany, I find 
"free-thinkers" of diversified species and origin, but above all a majority of those in whom laboriousness 
from generation to generation has dissolved the religious instincts; so that they no longer know what purpose 
religions serve, and only note their existence in the world with a kind of dull astonishment. They feel 
themselves already fully occupied, these good people, be it by their business or by their pleasures, not to 
mention the "Fatherland," and the newspapers, and their "family duties"; it seems that they have no time 


Beyond Good and Evil 

whatever left for religion; and above all, it is not obvious to them whether it is a question of a new business or 
a new pleasure — for it is impossible, they say to themselves, that people should go to church merely to spoil 
their tempers. They are by no means enemies of religious customs; should certain circumstances, State affairs 
perhaps, require their participation in such customs, they do what is required, as so many things are 
done — with a patient and unassuming seriousness, and without much curiosity or discomfort; — they live too 
much apart and outside to feel even the necessity for a FOR or AGAINST in such matters. Among those 
indifferent persons may be reckoned nowadays the majority of German Protestants of the middle classes, 
especially in the great laborious centres of trade and commerce; also the majority of laborious scholars, and 
the entire University personnel (with the exception of the theologians, whose existence and possibility there 
always gives psychologists new and more subtle puzzles to solve). On the part of pious, or merely 
church-going people, there is seldom any idea of HOW MUCH good-will, one might say arbitrary will, is 
now necessary for a German scholar to take the problem of religion seriously; his whole profession (and as I 
have said, his whole workmanlike laboriousness, to which he is compelled by his modern conscience) inclines 
him to a lofty and almost charitable serenity as regards religion, with which is occasionally mingled a slight 
disdain for the "uncleanliness" of spirit which he takes for granted wherever any one still professes to belong 
to the Church. It is only with the help of history (NOT through his own personal experience, therefore) that 
the scholar succeeds in bringing himself to a respectful seriousness, and to a certain timid deference in 
presence of religions; but even when his sentiments have reached the stage of gratitude towards them, he has 
not personally advanced one step nearer to that which still maintains itself as Church or as piety; perhaps even 
the contrary. The practical indifference to religious matters in the midst of which he has been born and 
brought up, usually sublimates itself in his case into circumspection and cleanliness, which shuns contact with 
religious men and things; and it may be just the depth of his tolerance and humanity which prompts him to 
avoid the delicate trouble which tolerance itself brings with it. — Every age has its own divine type of naivete, 
for the discovery of which other ages may envy it: and how much naivete — adorable, childlike, and 
boundlessly foolish naivete is involved in this belief of the scholar in his superiority, in the good conscience 
of his tolerance, in the unsuspecting, simple certainty with which his instinct treats the religious man as a 
lower and less valuable type, beyond, before, and ABOVE which he himself has developed — he, the little 
arrogant dwarf and mob-man, the sedulously alert, head-and-hand drudge of "ideas," of "modern ideas"! 

59. Whoever has seen deeply into the world has doubtless divined what wisdom there is in the fact that men 
are superficial. It is their preservative instinct which teaches them to be flighty, lightsome, and false. Here and 
there one finds a passionate and exaggerated adoration of "pure forms" in philosophers as well as in artists: it 
is not to be doubted that whoever has NEED of the cult of the superficial to that extent, has at one time or 
another made an unlucky dive BENEATH it. Perhaps there is even an order of rank with respect to those burnt 
children, the born artists who find the enjoyment of life only in trying to FALSIFY its image (as if taking 
wearisome revenge on it), one might guess to what degree life has disgusted them, by the extent to which they 
wish to see its image falsified, attenuated, ultrified, and deified, — one might reckon the homines religiosi 
among the artists, as their HIGHEST rank. It is the profound, suspicious fear of an incurable pessimism which 
compels whole centuries to fasten their teeth into a religious interpretation of existence: the fear of the instinct 
which divines that truth might be attained TOO soon, before man has become strong enough, hard enough, 
artist enough. . . . Piety, the "Life in God," regarded in this light, would appear as the most elaborate and 
ultimate product of the FEAR of truth, as artist-adoration and artist-intoxication in presence of the most 
logical of all falsifications, as the will to the inversion of truth, to untruth at any price. Perhaps there has 
hitherto been no more effective means of beautifying man than piety, by means of it man can become so 
artful, so superficial, so iridescent, and so good, that his appearance no longer offends. 

60. To love mankind FOR GOD'S SAKE — this has so far been the noblest and remotest sentiment to which 
mankind has attained. That love to mankind, without any redeeming intention in the background, is only an 
ADDITIONAL folly and brutishness, that the inclination to this love has first to get its proportion, its 
delicacy, its gram of salt and sprinkling of ambergris from a higher inclination — whoever first perceived and 
"experienced" this, however his tongue may have stammered as it attempted to express such a delicate matter, 


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let him for all time be holy and respected, as the man who has so far flown highest and gone astray in the 
finest fashion! 

61. The philosopher, as WE free spirits understand him — as the man of the greatest responsibility, who has the 
conscience for the general development of mankind, — will use religion for his disciplining and educating 
work, just as he will use the contemporary political and economic conditions. The selecting and disciplining 
influence — destructive, as well as creative and fashioning — which can be exercised by means of religion is 
manifold and varied, according to the sort of people placed under its spell and protection. For those who are 
strong and independent, destined and trained to command, in whom the judgment and skill of a ruling race is 
incorporated, religion is an additional means for overcoming resistance in the exercise of authority — as a bond 
which binds rulers and subjects in common, betraying and surrendering to the former the conscience of the 
latter, their inmost heart, which would fain escape obedience. And in the case of the unique natures of noble 
origin, if by virtue of superior spirituality they should incline to a more retired and contemplative life, 
reserving to themselves only the more refined forms of government (over chosen disciples or members of an 
order), religion itself may be used as a means for obtaining peace from the noise and trouble of managing 
GROSSER affairs, and for securing immunity from the UNAVOIDABLE filth of all political agitation. The 
Brahmins, for instance, understood this fact. With the help of a religious organization, they secured to 
themselves the power of nominating kings for the people, while their sentiments prompted them to keep apart 
and outside, as men with a higher and super-regal mission. At the same time religion gives inducement and 
opportunity to some of the subjects to qualify themselves for future ruling and commanding the slowly 
ascending ranks and classes, in which, through fortunate marriage customs, volitional power and delight in 
self-control are on the increase. To them religion offers sufficient incentives and temptations to aspire to 
higher intellectuality, and to experience the sentiments of authoritative self-control, of silence, and of 
solitude. Asceticism and Puritanism are almost indispensable means of educating and ennobling a race which 
seeks to rise above its hereditary baseness and work itself upwards to future supremacy. And finally, to 
ordinary men, to the majority of the people, who exist for service and general utility, and are only so far 
entitled to exist, religion gives invaluable contentedness with their lot and condition, peace of heart, 
ennoblement of obedience, additional social happiness and sympathy, with something of transfiguration and 
embellishment, something of justification of all the commonplaceness, all the meanness, all the semi-animal 
poverty of their souls. Religion, together with the religious significance of life, sheds sunshine over such 
perpetually harassed men, and makes even their own aspect endurable to them, it operates upon them as the 
Epicurean philosophy usually operates upon sufferers of a higher order, in a refreshing and refining manner, 
almost TURNING suffering TO ACCOUNT, and in the end even hallowing and vindicating it. There is 
perhaps nothing so admirable in Christianity and Buddhism as their art of teaching even the lowest to elevate 
themselves by piety to a seemingly higher order of things, and thereby to retain their satisfaction with the 
actual world in which they find it difficult enough to live — this very difficulty being necessary. 

62. To be sure — to make also the bad counter-reckoning against such religions, and to bring to light their 
secret dangers — the cost is always excessive and terrible when religions do NOT operate as an educational 
and disciplinary medium in the hands of the philosopher, but rule voluntarily and PARAMOUNTLY, when 
they wish to be the final end, and not a means along with other means. Among men, as among all other 
animals, there is a surplus of defective, diseased, degenerating, infirm, and necessarily suffering individuals; 
the successful cases, among men also, are always the exception; and in view of the fact that man is THE 
ANIMAL NOT YET PROPERLY ADAPTED TO HIS ENVIRONMENT, the rare exception. But worse still. 
The higher the type a man represents, the greater is the improbability that he will SUCCEED; the accidental, 
the law of irrationality in the general constitution of mankind, manifests itself most terribly in its destructive 
effect on the higher orders of men, the conditions of whose lives are delicate, diverse, and difficult to 
determine. What, then, is the attitude of the two greatest religions above-mentioned to the SURPLUS of 
failures in life? They endeavour to preserve and keep alive whatever can be preserved; in fact, as the religions 
FOR SUFFERERS, they take the part of these upon principle; they are always in favour of those who suffer 
from life as from a disease, and they would fain treat every other experience of life as false and impossible. 


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However highly we may esteem this indulgent and preservative care (inasmuch as in applying to others, it has 
applied, and applies also to the highest and usually the most suffering type of man), the hitherto 
PARAMOUNT religions — to give a general appreciation of them — are among the principal causes which 
have kept the type of "man" upon a lower level — they have preserved too much THAT WHICH SHOULD 
HAVE PERISHED. One has to thank them for invaluable services; and who is sufficiently rich in gratitude 
not to feel poor at the contemplation of all that the "spiritual men" of Christianity have done for Europe 
hitherto! But when they had given comfort to the sufferers, courage to the oppressed and despairing, a staff 
and support to the helpless, and when they had allured from society into convents and spiritual penitentiaries 
the broken-hearted and distracted: what else had they to do in order to work systematically in that fashion, 
and with a good conscience, for the preservation of all the sick and suffering, which means, in deed and in 
truth, to work for the DETERIORATION OF THE EUROPEAN RACE? To REVERSE all estimates of 
value — THAT is what they had to do! And to shatter the strong, to spoil great hopes, to cast suspicion on the 
delight in beauty, to break down everything autonomous, manly, conquering, and imperious — all instincts 
which are natural to the highest and most successful type of "man" — into uncertainty, distress of conscience, 
and self-destruction; forsooth, to invert all love of the earthly and of supremacy over the earth, into hatred of 
the earth and earthly things — THAT is the task the Church imposed on itself, and was obliged to impose, 
until, according to its standard of value, "unworldliness," "unsensuousness," and "higher man" fused into one 
sentiment. If one could observe the strangely painful, equally coarse and refined comedy of European 
Christianity with the derisive and impartial eye of an Epicurean god, I should think one would never cease 
marvelling and laughing; does it not actually seem that some single will has ruled over Europe for eighteen 
centuries in order to make a SUBLIME ABORTION of man? He, however, who, with opposite requirements 
(no longer Epicurean) and with some divine hammer in his hand, could approach this almost voluntary 
degeneration and stunting of mankind, as exemplified in the European Christian (Pascal, for instance), would 
he not have to cry aloud with rage, pity, and horror: "Oh, you bunglers, presumptuous pitiful bunglers, what 
have you done ! Was that a work for your hands? How you have hacked and botched my finest stone ! What 
have you presumed to do!" — I should say that Christianity has hitherto been the most portentous of 
presumptions. Men, not great enough, nor hard enough, to be entitled as artists to take part in fashioning 
MAN; men, not sufficiently strong and far-sighted to ALLOW, with sublime self- constraint, the obvious 
law of the thousandfold failures and perishings to prevail; men, not sufficiently noble to see the radically 
different grades of rank and intervals of rank that separate man from man: — SUCH men, with their "equality 
before God," have hitherto swayed the destiny of Europe; until at last a dwarfed, almost ludicrous species has 
been produced, a gregarious animal, something obliging, sickly, mediocre, the European of the present day. 


63. He who is a thorough teacher takes things seriously — and even himself — only in relation to his pupils. 

64. "Knowledge for its own sake" — that is the last snare laid by morality: we are thereby completely 
entangled in morals once more. 

65. The charm of knowledge would be small, were it not so much shame has to be overcome on the way to it. 
65A. We are most dishonourable towards our God: he is not PERMITTED to sin. 

66. The tendency of a person to allow himself to be degraded, robbed, deceived, and exploited might be the 
diffidence of a God among men. 

67. Love to one only is a barbarity, for it is exercised at the expense of all others. Love to God also! 

68. "I did that," says my memory. "I could not have done that," says my pride, and remains inexorable. 
Eventually — the memory yields. 


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69. One has regarded life carelessly, if one has failed to see the hand that — kills with leniency. 

70. If a man has character, he has also his typical experience, which always recurs. 

71. THE SAGE AS ASTRONOMER.— So long as thou feelest the stars as an "above thee," thou lackest the 
eye of the discerning one. 

72. It is not the strength, but the duration of great sentiments that makes great men. 

73. He who attains his ideal, precisely thereby surpasses it. 

73A. Many a peacock hides his tail from every eye — and calls it his pride. 

74. A man of genius is unbearable, unless he possess at least two things besides: gratitude and purity. 

75. The degree and nature of a man's sensuality extends to the highest altitudes of his spirit. 

76. Under peaceful conditions the militant man attacks himself. 

77. With his principles a man seeks either to dominate, or justify, or honour, or reproach, or conceal his 
habits: two men with the same principles probably seek fundamentally different ends therewith. 

78. He who despises himself, nevertheless esteems himself thereby, as a despiser. 

79. A soul which knows that it is loved, but does not itself love, betrays its sediment: its dregs come up. 

80. A thing that is explained ceases to concern us — What did the God mean who gave the advice, "Know 
thyself!" Did it perhaps imply "Cease to be concerned about thyself! become objective!" — And 
Socrates? — And the "scientific man"? 

81. It is terrible to die of thirst at sea. Is it necessary that you should so salt your truth that it will no 
longer — quench thirst? 

82. "Sympathy for all" — would be harshness and tyranny for THEE, my good neighbour. 

83. INSTINCT — When the house is on fire one forgets even the dinner — Yes, but one recovers it from among 
the ashes. 

84. Woman learns how to hate in proportion as she — forgets how to charm. 

85. The same emotions are in man and woman, but in different TEMPO, on that account man and woman 
never cease to misunderstand each other. 

86. In the background of all their personal vanity, women themselves have still their impersonal scorn — for 

87. FETTERED HEART, FREE SPIRIT — When one firmly fetters one's heart and keeps it prisoner, one can 
allow one's spirit many liberties: I said this once before But people do not believe it when I say so, unless they 
know it already. 

88. One begins to distrust very clever persons when they become embarrassed. 


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89. Dreadful experiences raise the question whether he who experiences them is not something dreadful also. 

90. Heavy, melancholy men turn lighter, and come temporarily to their surface, precisely by that which makes 
others heavy — by hatred and love. 

91. So cold, so icy, that one burns one's finger at the touch of him! Every hand that lays hold of him shrinks 
back! — And for that very reason many think him red-hot. 

92. Who has not, at one time or another — sacrificed himself for the sake of his good name? 

93. In affability there is no hatred of men, but precisely on that account a great deal too much contempt of 

94. The maturity of man — that means, to have reacquired the seriousness that one had as a child at play. 

95. To be ashamed of one's immorality is a step on the ladder at the end of which one is ashamed also of one's 

96. One should part from life as Ulysses parted from Nausicaa — blessing it rather than in love with it. 

97. What? A great man? I always see merely the play-actor of his own ideal. 

98. When one trains one's conscience, it kisses one while it bites. 

99. THE DISAPPOINTED ONE SPEAKS— "I listened for the echo and I heard only praise". 

100. We all feign to ourselves that we are simpler than we are, we thus relax ourselves away from our fellows. 

101. A discerning one might easily regard himself at present as the animalization of God. 

102. Discovering reciprocal love should really disenchant the lover with regard to the beloved. "What! She is 
modest enough to love even you? Or stupid enough? Or — or " 

103. THE DANGER IN HAPPINESS. — "Everything now turns out best for me, I now love every fate: — who 
would like to be my fate?" 

104. Not their love of humanity, but the impotence of their love, prevents the Christians of today — burning us. 

105. The pia fraus is still more repugnant to the taste (the "piety") of the free spirit (the "pious man of 
knowledge") than the impia fraus. Hence the profound lack of judgment, in comparison with the Church, 
characteristic of the type "free spirit" — as ITS non-freedom. 

106. By means of music the very passions enjoy themselves. 

107. A sign of strong character, when once the resolution has been taken, to shut the ear even to the best 
counter-arguments. Occasionally, therefore, a will to stupidity. 

108. There is no such thing as moral phenomena, but only a moral interpretation of phenomena. 

109. The criminal is often enough not equal to his deed: he extenuates and maligns it. 


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110. The advocates of a criminal are seldom artists enough to turn the beautiful terribleness of the deed to the 
advantage of the doer. 

111. Our vanity is most difficult to wound just when our pride has been wounded. 

112. To him who feels himself preordained to contemplation and not to belief, all believers are too noisy and 
obtrusive; he guards against them. 

113. "You want to prepossess him in your favour? Then you must be embarrassed before him." 

114. The immense expectation with regard to sexual love, and the coyness in this expectation, spoils all the 
perspectives of women at the outset. 

115. Where there is neither love nor hatred in the game, woman's play is mediocre. 

116. The great epochs of our life are at the points when we gain courage to rebaptize our badness as the best 
in us. 

117. The will to overcome an emotion, is ultimately only the will of another, or of several other, emotions. 

118. There is an innocence of admiration: it is possessed by him to whom it has not yet occurred that he 
himself may be admired some day. 

119. Our loathing of dirt may be so great as to prevent our cleaning ourselves — "justifying" ourselves. 

120. Sensuality often forces the growth of love too much, so that its root remains weak, and is easily torn up. 

121. It is a curious thing that God learned Greek when he wished to turn author — and that he did not learn it 

122. To rejoice on account of praise is in many cases merely politeness of heart — and the very opposite of 
vanity of spirit. 

123. Even concubinage has been corrupted — by marriage. 

124. He who exults at the stake, does not triumph over pain, but because of the fact that he does not feel pain 
where he expected it. A parable. 

125. When we have to change an opinion about any one, we charge heavily to his account the inconvenience 
he thereby causes us. 

126. A nation is a detour of nature to arrive at six or seven great men. — Yes, and then to get round them. 

127. In the eyes of all true women science is hostile to the sense of shame. They feel as if one wished to peep 
under their skin with it — or worse still! under their dress and finery. 

128. The more abstract the truth you wish to teach, the more must you allure the senses to it. 

129. The devil has the most extensive perspectives for God; on that account he keeps so far away from 
him: — the devil, in effect, as the oldest friend of knowledge. 


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130. What a person IS begins to betray itself when his talent decreases, — when he ceases to show what he 
CAN do. Talent is also an adornment; an adornment is also a concealment. 

131. The sexes deceive themselves about each other: the reason is that in reality they honour and love only 
themselves (or their own ideal, to express it more agreeably). Thus man wishes woman to be peaceable: but in 
fact woman is ESSENTIALLY unpeaceable, like the cat, however well she may have assumed the peaceable 

132. One is punished best for one's virtues. 

133. He who cannot find the way to HIS ideal, lives more frivolously and shamelessly than the man without 
an ideal. 

134. From the senses originate all trustworthiness, all good conscience, all evidence of truth. 

135. Pharisaism is not a deterioration of the good man; a considerable part of it is rather an essential condition 
of being good. 

136. The one seeks an accoucheur for his thoughts, the other seeks some one whom he can assist: a good 
conversation thus originates. 

137. In intercourse with scholars and artists one readily makes mistakes of opposite kinds: in a remarkable 
scholar one not infrequently finds a mediocre man; and often, even in a mediocre artist, one finds a very 
remarkable man. 

138. We do the same when awake as when dreaming: we only invent and imagine him with whom we have 
intercourse — and forget it immediately. 

139. In revenge and in love woman is more barbarous than man. 

140. ADVICE AS A RIDDLE.— "If the band is not to break, bite it first— secure to make!" 

141. The belly is the reason why man does not so readily take himself for a God. 

142. The chastest utterance I ever heard: "Dans le veritable amour c'est I l'ame qui enveloppe le corps." 

143. Our vanity would like what we do best to pass precisely for what is most difficult to us. — Concerning the 
origin of many systems of morals. 

144. When a woman has scholarly inclinations there is generally something wrong with her sexual nature. 
Barrenness itself conduces to a certain virility of taste; man, indeed, if I may say so, is "the barren animal." 

145. Comparing man and woman generally, one may say that woman would not have the genius for 
adornment, if she had not the instinct for the SECONDARY role. 

146. He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long 
into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee. 

147. From old Florentine novels — moreover, from life: Buona femmina e mala femmina vuol 
bastone. — Sacchetti, Nov. 86. 


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148. To seduce their neighbour to a favourable opinion, and afterwards to believe implicitly in this opinion of 
their neighbour — who can do this conjuring trick so well as women? 

149. That which an age considers evil is usually an unseasonable echo of what was formerly considered 
good — the atavism of an old ideal. 

150. Around the hero everything becomes a tragedy; around the demigod everything becomes a satyr-play; 
and around God everything becomes — what? perhaps a "world"? 

151. It is not enough to possess a talent: one must also have your permission to possess it; — eh, my friends? 

152. "Where there is the tree of knowledge, there is always Paradise": so say the most ancient and the most 
modern serpents. 

153. What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil. 

154. Objection, evasion, joyous distrust, and love of irony are signs of health; everything absolute belongs to 

155. The sense of the tragic increases and declines with sensuousness. 

156. Insanity in individuals is something rare — but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule. 

157. The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets successfully through many a bad 

158. Not only our reason, but also our conscience, truckles to our strongest impulse — the tyrant in us. 

159. One MUST repay good and ill; but why just to the person who did us good or ill? 

160. One no longer loves one's knowledge sufficiently after one has communicated it. 

161. Poets act shamelessly towards their experiences: they exploit them. 

162. "Our fellow-creature is not our neighbour, but our neighbour's neighbour": — so thinks every nation. 

163. Love brings to light the noble and hidden qualities of a lover — his rare and exceptional traits: it is thus 
liable to be deceptive as to his normal character. 

164. Jesus said to his Jews: "The law was for servants; — love God as I love him, as his Son! What have we 
Sons of God to do with morals!" 

165. IN SIGHT OF EVERY PARTY.— A shepherd has always need of a bell-wether— or he has himself to 
be a wether occasionally. 

166. One may indeed lie with the mouth; but with the accompanying grimace one nevertheless tells the truth. 

167. To vigorous men intimacy is a matter of shame — and something precious. 

168. Christianity gave Eros poison to drink; he did not die of it, certainly, but degenerated to Vice. 


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169. To talk much about oneself may also be a means of concealing oneself. 

170. In praise there is more obtrusiveness than in blame. 

171. Pity has an almost ludicrous effect on a man of knowledge, like tender hands on a Cyclops. 

172. One occasionally embraces some one or other, out of love to mankind (because one cannot embrace all); 
but this is what one must never confess to the individual. 

173. One does not hate as long as one disesteems, but only when one esteems equal or superior. 

174. Ye Utilitarians — ye, too, love the UTILE only as a VEHICLE for your inclinations, — ye, too, really find 
the noise of its wheels insupportable ! 

175. One loves ultimately one's desires, not the thing desired. 

176. The vanity of others is only counter to our taste when it is counter to our vanity. 

177. With regard to what "truthfulness" is, perhaps nobody has ever been sufficiently truthful. 

178. One does not believe in the follies of clever men: what a forfeiture of the rights of man! 

179. The consequences of our actions seize us by the forelock, very indifferent to the fact that we have 
meanwhile "reformed." 

180. There is an innocence in lying which is the sign of good faith in a cause. 

181. It is inhuman to bless when one is being cursed. 

182. The familiarity of superiors embitters one, because it may not be returned. 

183. "I am affected, not because you have deceived me, but because I can no longer believe in you." 

184. There is a haughtiness of kindness which has the appearance of wickedness. 

185. "I dislike him." — Why? — "I am not a match for him." — Did any one ever answer so? 


186. The moral sentiment in Europe at present is perhaps as subtle, belated, diverse, sensitive, and refined, as 
the "Science of Morals" belonging thereto is recent, initial, awkward, and coarse-fingered: — an interesting 
contrast, which sometimes becomes incarnate and obvious in the very person of a moralist. Indeed, the 
expression, "Science of Morals" is, in respect to what is designated thereby, far too presumptuous and counter 
to GOOD taste, — which is always a foretaste of more modest expressions. One ought to avow with the utmost 
fairness WHAT is still necessary here for a long time, WHAT is alone proper for the present: namely, the 
collection of material, the comprehensive survey and classification of an immense domain of delicate 
sentiments of worth, and distinctions of worth, which live, grow, propagate, and perish — and perhaps attempts 
to give a clear idea of the recurring and more common forms of these living crystallizations — as preparation 
for a THEORY OF TYPES of morality. To be sure, people have not hitherto been so modest. All the 
philosophers, with a pedantic and ridiculous seriousness, demanded of themselves something very much 
higher, more pretentious, and ceremonious, when they concerned themselves with morality as a science: they 


Beyond Good and Evil 

wanted to GIVE A BASIC to morality — and every philosopher hitherto has believed that he has given it a 
basis; morality itself, however, has been regarded as something "given." How far from their awkward pride 
was the seemingly insignificant problem — left in dust and decay — of a description of forms of morality, 
notwithstanding that the finest hands and senses could hardly be fine enough for it! It was precisely owing to 
moral philosophers' knowing the moral facts imperfectly, in an arbitrary epitome, or an accidental 
abridgement — perhaps as the morality of their environment, their position, their church, their Zeitgeist, their 
climate and zone — it was precisely because they were badly instructed with regard to nations, eras, and past 
ages, and were by no means eager to know about these matters, that they did not even come in sight of the real 
problems of morals — problems which only disclose themselves by a comparison of MANY kinds of morality. 
In every "Science of Morals" hitherto, strange as it may sound, the problem of morality itself has been 
OMITTED: there has been no suspicion that there was anything problematic there! That which philosophers 
called "giving a basis to morality," and endeavoured to realize, has, when seen in a right light, proved merely 
a learned form of good FAITH in prevailing morality, a new means of its EXPRESSION, consequently just a 
matter-of-fact within the sphere of a definite morality, yea, in its ultimate motive, a sort of denial that it is 
LAWFUL for this morality to be called in question — and in any case the reverse of the testing, analyzing, 
doubting, and vivisecting of this very faith. Hear, for instance, with what innocence — almost worthy of 
honour — Schopenhauer represents his own task, and draw your conclusions concerning the scientificness of a 
"Science" whose latest master still talks in the strain of children and old wives: "The principle," he says (page 
136 of the Grundprobleme der Ethik), [Footnote: Pages 54-55 of Schopenhauer's Basis of Morality, translated 
by Arthur B. Bullock, M.A. (1903).] "the axiom about the purport of which all moralists are PRACTICALLY 
agreed: neminem laede, immo omnes quantum potes juva — is REALLY the proposition which all moral 
teachers strive to establish, . . . the REAL basis of ethics which has been sought, like the philosopher's stone, 
for centuries." — The difficulty of establishing the proposition referred to may indeed be great — it is well 
known that Schopenhauer also was unsuccessful in his efforts; and whoever has thoroughly realized how 
absurdly false and sentimental this proposition is, in a world whose essence is Will to Power, may be 
reminded that Schopenhauer, although a pessimist, ACTUALLY — played the flute . . . daily after dinner: one 
may read about the matter in his biography. A question by the way: a pessimist, a repudiator of God and of the 
world, who MAKES A HALT at morality — who assents to morality, and plays the flute to laede-neminem 
morals, what? Is that really — a pessimist? 

187. Apart from the value of such assertions as "there is a categorical imperative in us," one can always ask: 
What does such an assertion indicate about him who makes it? There are systems of morals which are meant 
to justify their author in the eyes of other people; other systems of morals are meant to tranquilize him, and 
make him self-satisfied; with other systems he wants to crucify and humble himself, with others he wishes to 
take revenge, with others to conceal himself, with others to glorify himself and gave superiority and 
distinction, — this system of morals helps its author to forget, that system makes him, or something of him, 
forgotten, many a moralist would like to exercise power and creative arbitrariness over mankind, many 
another, perhaps, Kant especially, gives us to understand by his morals that "what is estimable in me, is that I 
know how to obey — and with you it SHALL not be otherwise than with me!" In short, systems of morals are 

188. In contrast to laisser-aller, every system of morals is a sort of tyranny against "nature" and also against 
"reason", that is, however, no objection, unless one should again decree by some system of morals, that all 
kinds of tyranny and unreasonableness are unlawful What is essential and invaluable in every system of 
morals, is that it is a long constraint. In order to understand Stoicism, or Port Royal, or Puritanism, one should 
remember the constraint under which every language has attained to strength and freedom — the metrical 
constraint, the tyranny of rhyme and rhythm. How much trouble have the poets and orators of every nation 
given themselves! — not excepting some of the prose writers of today, in whose ear dwells an inexorable 
conscientiousness — "for the sake of a folly," as utilitarian bunglers say, and thereby deem themselves 

wise — "from submission to arbitrary laws," as the anarchists say, and thereby fancy themselves "free," even 
free-spirited. The singular fact remains, however, that everything of the nature of freedom, elegance, 


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boldness, dance, and masterly certainty, which exists or has existed, whether it be in thought itself, or in 
administration, or in speaking and persuading, in art just as in conduct, has only developed by means of the 
tyranny of such arbitrary law, and in all seriousness, it is not at all improbable that precisely this is "nature" 
and "natural" — and not laisser-aller! Every artist knows how different from the state of letting himself go, is 
his "most natural" condition, the free arranging, locating, disposing, and constructing in the moments of 
"inspiration" — and how strictly and delicately he then obeys a thousand laws, which, by their very rigidness 
and precision, defy all formulation by means of ideas (even the most stable idea has, in comparison therewith, 
something floating, manifold, and ambiguous in it). The essential thing "in heaven and in earth" is, apparently 
(to repeat it once more), that there should be long OBEDIENCE in the same direction, there thereby results, 
and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living; for instance, virtue, art, 
music, dancing, reason, spirituality — anything whatever that is transfiguring, refined, foolish, or divine. The 
long bondage of the spirit, the distrustful constraint in the communic ability of ideas, the discipline which the 
thinker imposed on himself to think in accordance with the rules of a church or a court, or conformable to 
Aristotelian premises, the persistent spiritual will to interpret everything that happened according to a 
Christian scheme, and in every occurrence to rediscover and justify the Christian God: — all this violence, 
arbitrariness, severity, dreadfulness, and unreasonableness, has proved itself the disciplinary means whereby 
the European spirit has attained its strength, its remorseless curiosity and subtle mobility; granted also that 
much irrecoverable strength and spirit had to be stifled, suffocated, and spoilt in the process (for here, as 
everywhere, "nature" shows herself as she is, in all her extravagant and INDIFFERENT magnificence, which 
is shocking, but nevertheless noble). That for centuries European thinkers only thought in order to prove 
something-nowadays, on the contrary, we are suspicious of every thinker who "wishes to prove 
something" — that it was always settled beforehand what WAS TO BE the result of their strictest thinking, as 
it was perhaps in the Asiatic astrology of former times, or as it is still at the present day in the innocent, 
Christian-moral explanation of immediate personal events "for the glory of God," or "for the good of the 
soul": — this tyranny, this arbitrariness, this severe and magnificent stupidity, has EDUCATED the spirit; 
slavery, both in the coarser and the finer sense, is apparently an indispensable means even of spiritual 
education and discipline. One may look at every system of morals in this light: it is "nature" therein which 
teaches to hate the laisser-aller, the too great freedom, and implants the need for limited horizons, for 
immediate duties — it teaches the NARROWING OF PERSPECTIVES, and thus, in a certain sense, that 
stupidity is a condition of life and development. "Thou must obey some one, and for a long time; 
OTHERWISE thou wilt come to grief, and lose all respect for thyself — this seems to me to be the moral 
imperative of nature, which is certainly neither "categorical," as old Kant wished (consequently the 
"otherwise"), nor does it address itself to the individual (what does nature care for the individual!), but to 
nations, races, ages, and ranks; above all, however, to the animal "man" generally, to MANKIND. 

189. Industrious races find it a great hardship to be idle: it was a master stroke of ENGLISH instinct to hallow 
and begloom Sunday to such an extent that the Englishman unconsciously hankers for his week — and 
work-day again: — as a kind of cleverly devised, cleverly intercalated FAST, such as is also frequently found 
in the ancient world (although, as is appropriate in southern nations, not precisely with respect to work). Many 
kinds of fasts are necessary; and wherever powerful influences and habits prevail, legislators have to see that 
intercalary days are appointed, on which such impulses are fettered, and learn to hunger anew. Viewed from a 
higher standpoint, whole generations and epochs, when they show themselves infected with any moral 
fanaticism, seem like those intercalated periods of restraint and fasting, during which an impulse learns to 
humble and submit itself — at the same time also to PURIFY and SHARPEN itself; certain philosophical sects 
likewise admit of a similar interpretation (for instance, the Stoa, in the midst of Hellenic culture, with the 
atmosphere rank and overcharged with Aphrodisiacal odours). — Here also is a hint for the explanation of the 
paradox, why it was precisely in the most Christian period of European history, and in general only under the 
pressure of Christian sentiments, that the sexual impulse sublimated into love (amour-passion). 

190. There is something in the morality of Plato which does not really belong to Plato, but which only appears 
in his philosophy, one might say, in spite of him: namely, Socratism, for which he himself was too noble. "No 


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one desires to injure himself, hence all evil is done unwittingly. The evil man inflicts injury on himself; he 
would not do so, however, if he knew that evil is evil. The evil man, therefore, is only evil through error; if 
one free him from error one will necessarily make him — good." — This mode of reasoning savours of the 
POPULACE, who perceive only the unpleasant consequences of evil-doing, and practically judge that "it is 
STUPID to do wrong"; while they accept "good" as identical with "useful and pleasant," without further 
thought. As regards every system of utilitarianism, one may at once assume that it has the same origin, and 
follow the scent: one will seldom err. — Plato did all he could to interpret something refined and noble into 
the tenets of his teacher, and above all to interpret himself into them — he, the most daring of all interpreters, 
who lifted the entire Socrates out of the street, as a popular theme and song, to exhibit him in endless and 
impossible modifications — namely, in all his own disguises and multiplicities. In jest, and in Homeric 
language as well, what is the Platonic Socrates, if not — [Greek words inserted here.] 

191. The old theological problem of "Faith" and "Knowledge," or more plainly, of instinct and reason — the 
question whether, in respect to the valuation of things, instinct deserves more authority than rationality, which 
wants to appreciate and act according to motives, according to a "Why," that is to say, in conformity to 
purpose and utility — it is always the old moral problem that first appeared in the person of Socrates, and had 
divided men's minds long before Christianity. Socrates himself, following, of course, the taste of his 

talent — that of a surpassing dialectician — took first the side of reason; and, in fact, what did he do all his life 
but laugh at the awkward incapacity of the noble Athenians, who were men of instinct, like all noble men, and 
could never give satisfactory answers concerning the motives of their actions? In the end, however, though 
silently and secretly, he laughed also at himself: with his finer conscience and introspection, he found in 
himself the same difficulty and incapacity. "But why" — he said to himself — "should one on that account 
separate oneself from the instincts! One must set them right, and the reason ALSO — one must follow the 
instincts, but at the same time persuade the reason to support them with good arguments." This was the real 
FALSENESS of that great and mysterious ironist; he brought his conscience up to the point that he was 
satisfied with a kind of self-outwitting: in fact, he perceived the irrationality in the moral judgment. — Plato, 
more innocent in such matters, and without the craftiness of the plebeian, wished to prove to himself, at the 
expenditure of all his strength — the greatest strength a philosopher had ever expended — that reason and 
instinct lead spontaneously to one goal, to the good, to "God"; and since Plato, all theologians and 
philosophers have followed the same path — which means that in matters of morality, instinct (or as Christians 
call it, "Faith," or as I call it, "the herd") has hitherto triumphed. Unless one should make an exception in the 
case of Descartes, the father of rationalism (and consequently the grandfather of the Revolution), who 
recognized only the authority of reason: but reason is only a tool, and Descartes was superficial. 

192. Whoever has followed the history of a single science, finds in its development a clue to the 
understanding of the oldest and commonest processes of all "knowledge and cognizance": there, as here, the 
premature hypotheses, the fictions, the good stupid will to "belief," and the lack of distrust and patience are 
first developed — our senses learn late, and never learn completely, to be subtle, reliable, and cautious organs 
of knowledge. Our eyes find it easier on a given occasion to produce a picture already often produced, than to 
seize upon the divergence and novelty of an impression: the latter requires more force, more "morality." It is 
difficult and painful for the ear to listen to anything new; we hear strange music badly. When we hear another 
language spoken, we involuntarily attempt to form the sounds into words with which we are more familiar and 
conversant — it was thus, for example, that the Germans modified the spoken word ARCUBALISTA into 
ARMBRUST (cross-bow). Our senses are also hostile and averse to the new; and generally, even in the 
"simplest" processes of sensation, the emotions DOMINATE — such as fear, love, hatred, and the passive 
emotion of indolence. — As little as a reader nowadays reads all the single words (not to speak of syllables) of 
a page — he rather takes about five out of every twenty words at random, and "guesses" the probably 
appropriate sense to them — just as little do we see a tree correctly and completely in respect to its leaves, 
branches, colour, and shape; we find it so much easier to fancy the chance of a tree. Even in the midst of the 
most remarkable experiences, we still do just the same; we fabricate the greater part of the experience, and can 
hardly be made to contemplate any event, EXCEPT as "inventors" thereof. All this goes to prove that from 


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our fundamental nature and from remote ages we have been — ACCUSTOMED TO LYING. Or, to express it 
more politely and hypocritically, in short, more pleasantly — one is much more of an artist than one is aware 
of. — In an animated conversation, I often see the face of the person with whom I am speaking so clearly and 
sharply defined before me, according to the thought he expresses, or which I believe to be evoked in his mind, 
that the degree of distinctness far exceeds the STRENGTH of my visual faculty — the delicacy of the play of 
the muscles and of the expression of the eyes MUST therefore be imagined by me. Probably the person put on 
quite a different expression, or none at all. 

193. Quidquid luce fuit, tenebris agit: but also contrariwise. What we experience in dreams, provided we 
experience it often, pertains at last just as much to the general belongings of our soul as anything "actually" 
experienced; by virtue thereof we are richer or poorer, we have a requirement more or less, and finally, in 
broad daylight, and even in the brightest moments of our waking life, we are ruled to some extent by the 
nature of our dreams. Supposing that someone has often flown in his dreams, and that at last, as soon as he 
dreams, he is conscious of the power and art of flying as his privilege and his peculiarly enviable happiness; 
such a person, who believes that on the slightest impulse, he can actualize all sorts of curves and angles, who 
knows the sensation of a certain divine levity, an "upwards" without effort or constraint, a "downwards" 
without descending or lowering — without TROUBLE! — how could the man with such dream-experiences 
and dream-habits fail to find "happiness" differently coloured and defined, even in his waking hours! How 
could he fail — to long DIFFERENTLY for happiness? "Flight," such as is described by poets, must, when 
compared with his own "flying," be far too earthly, muscular, violent, far too "troublesome" for him. 

194. The difference among men does not manifest itself only in the difference of their lists of desirable 
things — in their regarding different good things as worth striving for, and being disagreed as to the greater or 
less value, the order of rank, of the commonly recognized desirable things: — it manifests itself much more in 
what they regard as actually HAVING and POSSESSING a desirable thing. As regards a woman, for instance, 
the control over her body and her sexual gratification serves as an amply sufficient sign of ownership and 
possession to the more modest man; another with a more suspicious and ambitious thirst for possession, sees 
the "questionableness," the mere apparentness of such ownership, and wishes to have finer tests in order to 
know especially whether the woman not only gives herself to him, but also gives up for his sake what she has 
or would like to have — only THEN does he look upon her as "possessed." A third, however, has not even 
here got to the limit of his distrust and his desire for possession: he asks himself whether the woman, when 
she gives up everything for him, does not perhaps do so for a phantom of him; he wishes first to be 
thoroughly, indeed, profoundly well known; in order to be loved at all he ventures to let himself be found out. 
Only then does he feel the beloved one fully in his possession, when she no longer deceives herself about him, 
when she loves him just as much for the sake of his devilry and concealed insatiability, as for his goodness, 
patience, and spirituality. One man would like to possess a nation, and he finds all the higher arts of 
Cagliostro and Catalina suitable for his purpose. Another, with a more refined thirst for possession, says to 
himself: "One may not deceive where one desires to possess" — he is irritated and impatient at the idea that a 
mask of him should rule in the hearts of the people: "I must, therefore, MAKE myself known, and first of all 
learn to know myself!" Among helpful and charitable people, one almost always finds the awkward craftiness 
which first gets up suitably him who has to be helped, as though, for instance, he should "merit" help, seek 
just THEIR help, and would show himself deeply grateful, attached, and subservient to them for all help. With 
these conceits, they take control of the needy as a property, just as in general they are charitable and helpful 
out of a desire for property. One finds them jealous when they are crossed or forestalled in their charity. 
Parents involuntarily make something like themselves out of their children — they call that "education"; no 
mother doubts at the bottom of her heart that the child she has borne is thereby her property, no father 
hesitates about his right to HIS OWN ideas and notions of worth. Indeed, in former times fathers deemed it 
right to use their discretion concerning the life or death of the newly born (as among the ancient Germans). 
And like the father, so also do the teacher, the class, the priest, and the prince still see in every new individual 
an unobjectionable opportunity for a new possession. The consequence is . . . 


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195. The Jews — a people "born for slavery," as Tacitus and the whole ancient world say of them; "the chosen 
people among the nations," as they themselves say and believe — the Jews performed the miracle of the 
inversion of valuations, by means of which life on earth obtained a new and dangerous charm for a couple of 
millenniums. Their prophets fused into one the expressions "rich," "godless," "wicked," "violent," "sensual," 
and for the first time coined the word "world" as a term of reproach. In this inversion of valuations (in which 
is also included the use of the word "poor" as synonymous with "saint" and "friend") the significance of the 
Jewish people is to be found; it is with THEM that the SLAVE-INSURRECTION IN MORALS commences. 

196. It is to be INFERRED that there are countless dark bodies near the sun — such as we shall never see. 
Among ourselves, this is an allegory; and the psychologist of morals reads the whole star-writing merely as 
an allegorical and symbolic language in which much may be unexpressed. 

197. The beast of prey and the man of prey (for instance, Caesar Borgia) are fundamentally misunderstood, 
"nature" is misunderstood, so long as one seeks a "morbidness" in the constitution of these healthiest of all 
tropical monsters and growths, or even an innate "hell" in them — as almost all moralists have done hitherto. 
Does it not seem that there is a hatred of the virgin forest and of the tropics among moralists? And that the 
"tropical man" must be discredited at all costs, whether as disease and deterioration of mankind, or as his own 
hell and self-torture? And why? In favour of the "temperate zones"? In favour of the temperate men? The 
"moral"? The mediocre? — This for the chapter: "Morals as Timidity." 

198. All the systems of morals which address themselves with a view to their "happiness," as it is 

called — what else are they but suggestions for behaviour adapted to the degree of DANGER from themselves 
in which the individuals live; recipes for their passions, their good and bad propensities, insofar as such have 
the Will to Power and would like to play the master; small and great expediencies and elaborations, permeated 
with the musty odour of old family medicines and old-wife wisdom; all of them grotesque and absurd in their 
form — because they address themselves to "all," because they generalize where generalization is not 
authorized; all of them speaking unconditionally, and taking themselves unconditionally; all of them 
flavoured not merely with one grain of salt, but rather endurable only, and sometimes even seductive, when 
they are over-spiced and begin to smell dangerously, especially of "the other world." That is all of little value 
when estimated intellectually, and is far from being "science," much less "wisdom"; but, repeated once more, 
and three times repeated, it is expediency, expediency, expediency, mixed with stupidity, stupidity, 
stupidity — whether it be the indifference and statuesque coldness towards the heated folly of the emotions, 
which the Stoics advised and fostered; or the no- more-laughing and no-more-weeping of Spinoza, the 
destruction of the emotions by their analysis and vivisection, which he recommended so naively; or the 
lowering of the emotions to an innocent mean at which they may be satisfied, the Aristotelianism of morals; 
or even morality as the enjoyment of the emotions in a voluntary attenuation and spiritualization by the 
symbolism of art, perhaps as music, or as love of God, and of mankind for God's sake — for in religion the 
passions are once more enfranchised, provided that . . . ; or, finally, even the complaisant and wanton 
surrender to the emotions, as has been taught by Hafis and Goethe, the bold letting-go of the reins, the 
spiritual and corporeal licentia morum in the exceptional cases of wise old codgers and drunkards, with whom 
it "no longer has much danger." — This also for the chapter: "Morals as Timidity." 

199. Inasmuch as in all ages, as long as mankind has existed, there have also been human herds (family 
alliances, communities, tribes, peoples, states, churches), and always a great number who obey in proportion 
to the small number who command — in view, therefore, of the fact that obedience has been most practiced 
and fostered among mankind hitherto, one may reasonably suppose that, generally speaking, the need thereof 
is now innate in every one, as a kind of FORMAL CONSCIENCE which gives the command "Thou shalt 
unconditionally do something, unconditionally refrain from something", in short, "Thou shalt". This need tries 
to satisfy itself and to fill its form with a content, according to its strength, impatience, and eagerness, it at 
once seizes as an omnivorous appetite with little selection, and accepts whatever is shouted into its ear by all 
sorts of commanders — parents, teachers, laws, class prejudices, or public opinion. The extraordinary 


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limitation of human development, the hesitation, protractedness, frequent retrogression, and turning thereof, is 
attributable to the fact that the herd-instinct of obedience is transmitted best, and at the cost of the art of 
command. If one imagine this instinct increasing to its greatest extent, commanders and independent 
individuals will finally be lacking altogether, or they will suffer inwardly from a bad conscience, and will 
have to impose a deception on themselves in the first place in order to be able to command just as if they also 
were only obeying. This condition of things actually exists in Europe at present — I call it the moral hypocrisy 
of the commanding class. They know no other way of protecting themselves from their bad conscience than 
by playing the role of executors of older and higher orders (of predecessors, of the constitution, of justice, of 
the law, or of God himself), or they even justify themselves by maxims from the current opinions of the herd, 
as "first servants of their people," or "instruments of the public weal". On the other hand, the gregarious 
European man nowadays assumes an air as if he were the only kind of man that is allowable, he glorifies his 
qualities, such as public spirit, kindness, deference, industry, temperance, modesty, indulgence, sympathy, by 
virtue of which he is gentle, endurable, and useful to the herd, as the peculiarly human virtues. In cases, 
however, where it is believed that the leader and bell-wether cannot be dispensed with, attempt after attempt 
is made nowadays to replace commanders by the summing together of clever gregarious men all 
representative constitutions, for example, are of this origin. In spite of all, what a blessing, what a deliverance 
from a weight becoming unendurable, is the appearance of an absolute ruler for these gregarious 
Europeans — of this fact the effect of the appearance of Napoleon was the last great proof the history of the 
influence of Napoleon is almost the history of the higher happiness to which the entire century has attained in 
its worthiest individuals and periods. 

200. The man of an age of dissolution which mixes the races with one another, who has the inheritance of a 
diversified descent in his body — that is to say, contrary, and often not only contrary, instincts and standards of 
value, which struggle with one another and are seldom at peace — such a man of late culture and broken lights, 
will, on an average, be a weak man. His fundamental desire is that the war which is IN HIM should come to 
an end; happiness appears to him in the character of a soothing medicine and mode of thought (for instance, 
Epicurean or Christian); it is above all things the happiness of repose, of undisturbedness, of repletion, of final 
unity — it is the "Sabbath of Sabbaths," to use the expression of the holy rhetorician, St. Augustine, who was 
himself such a man. — Should, however, the contrariety and conflict in such natures operate as an 
ADDITIONAL incentive and stimulus to life — and if, on the other hand, in addition to their powerful and 
irreconcilable instincts, they have also inherited and indoctrinated into them a proper mastery and subtlety for 
carrying on the conflict with themselves (that is to say, the faculty of self-control and self-deception), there 
then arise those marvelously incomprehensible and inexplicable beings, those enigmatical men, predestined 
for conquering and circumventing others, the finest examples of which are Alcibiades and Caesar (with whom 
I should like to associate the FIRST of Europeans according to my taste, the Hohenstaufen, Frederick the 
Second), and among artists, perhaps Leonardo da Vinci. They appear precisely in the same periods when that 
weaker type, with its longing for repose, comes to the front; the two types are complementary to each other, 
and spring from the same causes. 

201. As long as the utility which determines moral estimates is only gregarious utility, as long as the 
preservation of the community is only kept in view, and the immoral is sought precisely and exclusively in 
what seems dangerous to the maintenance of the community, there can be no "morality of love to one's 
neighbour." Granted even that there is already a little constant exercise of consideration, sympathy, fairness, 
gentleness, and mutual assistance, granted that even in this condition of society all those instincts are already 
active which are latterly distinguished by honourable names as "virtues," and eventually almost coincide with 
the conception "morality": in that period they do not as yet belong to the domain of moral valuations — they 
are still ULTRA-MORAL. A sympathetic action, for instance, is neither called good nor bad, moral nor 
immoral, in the best period of the Romans; and should it be praised, a sort of resentful disdain is compatible 
with this praise, even at the best, directly the sympathetic action is compared with one which contributes to 
the welfare of the whole, to the RES PUBLICA. After all, "love to our neighbour" is always a secondary 
matter, partly conventional and arbitrarily manifested in relation to our FEAR OF OUR NEIGHBOUR. After 


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the fabric of society seems on the whole established and secured against external dangers, it is this fear of our 
neighbour which again creates new perspectives of moral valuation. Certain strong and dangerous instincts, 
such as the love of enterprise, foolhardiness, revengefulness, astuteness, rapacity, and love of power, which up 
till then had not only to be honoured from the point of view of general utility — under other names, of course, 
than those here given — but had to be fostered and cultivated (because they were perpetually required in the 
common danger against the common enemies), are now felt in their dangerousness to be doubly strong — when 
the outlets for them are lacking — and are gradually branded as immoral and given over to calumny. The 
contrary instincts and inclinations now attain to moral honour, the gregarious instinct gradually draws its 
conclusions. How much or how little dangerousness to the community or to equality is contained in an 
opinion, a condition, an emotion, a disposition, or an endowment — that is now the moral perspective, here 
again fear is the mother of morals. It is by the loftiest and strongest instincts, when they break out passionately 
and carry the individual far above and beyond the average, and the low level of the gregarious conscience, that 
the self-reliance of the community is destroyed, its belief in itself, its backbone, as it were, breaks, 
consequently these very instincts will be most branded and defamed. The lofty independent spirituality, the 
will to stand alone, and even the cogent reason, are felt to be dangers, everything that elevates the individual 
above the herd, and is a source of fear to the neighbour, is henceforth called EVIL, the tolerant, unassuming, 
self-adapting, self-equalizing disposition, the MEDIOCRITY of desires, attains to moral distinction and 
honour. Finally, under very peaceful circumstances, there is always less opportunity and necessity for training 
the feelings to severity and rigour, and now every form of severity, even injustice, begins to disturb the 
conscience, a lofty and rigorous nobleness and self-responsibility almost offends, and awakens distrust, "the 
lamb," and still more "the sheep," wins respect. There is a point of diseased mellowness and effeminacy in the 
history of society, at which society itself takes the part of him who injures it, the part of the CRIMINAL, and 
does so, in fact, seriously and honestly. To punish, appears to it to be somehow unfair — it is certain that the 
idea of "punishment" and "the obligation to punish" are then painful and alarming to people. "Is it not 
sufficient if the criminal be rendered HARMLESS? Why should we still punish? Punishment itself is 
terrible!" — with these questions gregarious morality, the morality of fear, draws its ultimate conclusion. If one 
could at all do away with danger, the cause of fear, one would have done away with this morality at the same 
time, it would no longer be necessary, it WOULD NOT CONSIDER ITSELF any longer 
necessary ! — Whoever examines the conscience of the present-day European, will always elicit the same 
imperative from its thousand moral folds and hidden recesses, the imperative of the timidity of the herd "we 
wish that some time or other there may be NOTHING MORE TO FEAR!" Some time or other — the will and 
the way THERETO is nowadays called "progress" all over Europe. 

202. Let us at once say again what we have already said a hundred times, for people's ears nowadays are 
unwilling to hear such truths — OUR truths. We know well enough how offensive it sounds when any one 
plainly, and without metaphor, counts man among the animals, but it will be accounted to us almost a 
CRIME, that it is precisely in respect to men of "modern ideas" that we have constantly applied the terms 
"herd," "herd-instincts," and such like expressions. What avail is it? We cannot do otherwise, for it is 
precisely here that our new insight is. We have found that in all the principal moral judgments, Europe has 
become unanimous, including likewise the countries where European influence prevails in Europe people 
evidently KNOW what Socrates thought he did not know, and what the famous serpent of old once promised 
to teach — they "know" today what is good and evil. It must then sound hard and be distasteful to the ear, 
when we always insist that that which here thinks it knows, that which here glorifies itself with praise and 
blame, and calls itself good, is the instinct of the herding human animal, the instinct which has come and is 
ever coming more and more to the front, to preponderance and supremacy over other instincts, according to 
the increasing physiological approximation and resemblance of which it is the symptom. MORALITY IN 
EUROPE AT PRESENT IS HERDING- ANIMAL MORALITY, and therefore, as we understand the matter, 
only one kind of human morality, beside which, before which, and after which many other moralities, and 
above all HIGHER moralities, are or should be possible. Against such a "possibility," against such a "should 
be," however, this morality defends itself with all its strength, it says obstinately and inexorably "I am 
morality itself and nothing else is morality!" Indeed, with the help of a religion which has humoured and 


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flattered the sublimest desires of the herding-animal, things have reached such a point that we always find a 
more visible expression of this morality even in political and social arrangements: the DEMOCRATIC 
movement is the inheritance of the Christian movement. That its TEMPO, however, is much too slow and 
sleepy for the more impatient ones, for those who are sick and distracted by the herding-instinct, is indicated 
by the increasingly furious howling, and always less disguised teeth- gnashing of the anarchist dogs, who are 
now roving through the highways of European culture. Apparently in opposition to the peacefully industrious 
democrats and Revolution-ideologues, and still more so to the awkward philosophasters and fraternity- 
visionaries who call themselves Socialists and want a "free society," those are really at one with them all in 
their thorough and instinctive hostility to every form of society other than that of the AUTONOMOUS herd 
(to the extent even of repudiating the notions "master" and "servant" — ni dieu ni maitre, says a socialist 
formula); at one in their tenacious opposition to every special claim, every special right and privilege (this 
means ultimately opposition to EVERY right, for when all are equal, no one needs "rights" any longer); at one 
in their distrust of punitive justice (as though it were a violation of the weak, unfair to the NECESSARY 
consequences of all former society); but equally at one in their religion of sympathy, in their compassion for 
all that feels, lives, and suffers (down to the very animals, up even to "God" — the extravagance of "sympathy 
for God" belongs to a democratic age); altogether at one in the cry and impatience of their sympathy, in their 
deadly hatred of suffering generally, in their almost feminine incapacity for witnessing it or ALLOWING it; 
at one in their involuntary beglooming and heart-softening, under the spell of which Europe seems to be 
threatened with a new Buddhism; at one in their belief in the morality of MUTUAL sympathy, as though it 
were morality in itself, the climax, the ATTAINED climax of mankind, the sole hope of the future, the 
consolation of the present, the great discharge from all the obligations of the past; altogether at one in their 
belief in the community as the DELIVERER, in the herd, and therefore in "themselves." 

203. We, who hold a different belief — we, who regard the democratic movement, not only as a degenerating 
form of political organization, but as equivalent to a degenerating, a waning type of man, as involving his 
mediocrising and depreciation: where have WE to fix our hopes? In NEW PHILOSOPHERS — there is no 
other alternative: in minds strong and original enough to initiate opposite estimates of value, to transvalue and 
invert "eternal valuations"; in forerunners, in men of the future, who in the present shall fix the constraints and 
fasten the knots which will compel millenniums to take NEW paths. To teach man the future of humanity as 
his WILL, as depending on human will, and to make preparation for vast hazardous enterprises and collective 
attempts in rearing and educating, in order thereby to put an end to the frightful rule of folly and chance which 
has hitherto gone by the name of "history" (the folly of the "greatest number" is only its last form) — for that 
purpose a new type of philosopher and commander will some time or other be needed, at the very idea of 
which everything that has existed in the way of occult, terrible, and benevolent beings might look pale and 
dwarfed. The image of such leaders hovers before OUR eyes: — is it lawful for me to say it aloud, ye free 
spirits? The conditions which one would partly have to create and partly utilize for their genesis; the 
presumptive methods and tests by virtue of which a soul should grow up to such an elevation and power as to 
feel a CONSTRAINT to these tasks; a transvaluation of values, under the new pressure and hammer of which 
a conscience should be steeled and a heart transformed into brass, so as to bear the weight of such 
responsibility; and on the other hand the necessity for such leaders, the dreadful danger that they might be 
lacking, or miscarry and degenerate: — these are OUR real anxieties and glooms, ye know it well, ye free 
spirits ! these are the heavy distant thoughts and storms which sweep across the heaven of OUR life. There are 
few pains so grievous as to have seen, divined, or experienced how an exceptional man has missed his way 
and deteriorated; but he who has the rare eye for the universal danger of "man" himself DETERIORATING, 
he who like us has recognized the extraordinary fortuitousness which has hitherto played its game in respect 
to the future of mankind — a game in which neither the hand, nor even a "finger of God" has participated! — he 
who divines the fate that is hidden under the idiotic unwariness and blind confidence of "modern ideas," and 
still more under the whole of Christo-European morality-suffers from an anguish with which no other is to be 
compared. He sees at a glance all that could still BE MADE OUT OF MAN through a favourable 
accumulation and augmentation of human powers and arrangements; he knows with all the knowledge of his 
conviction how unexhausted man still is for the greatest possibilities, and how often in the past the type man 


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has stood in presence of mysterious decisions and new paths: — he knows still better from his painfulest 
recollections on what wretched obstacles promising developments of the highest rank have hitherto usually 
gone to pieces, broken down, sunk, and become contemptible. The UNIVERSAL DEGENERACY OF 
MANKIND to the level of the "man of the future" — as idealized by the socialistic fools and 
shallow-pates — this degeneracy and dwarfing of man to an absolutely gregarious animal (or as they call it, to 
a man of "free society"), this brutalizing of man into a pigmy with equal rights and claims, is undoubtedly 
POSSIBLE! He who has thought out this possibility to its ultimate conclusion knows ANOTHER loathing 
unknown to the rest of mankind — and perhaps also a new MISSION! 


204. At the risk that moralizing may also reveal itself here as that which it has always been — namely, 
resolutely MONTRER SES PLAIES, according to Balzac — I would venture to protest against an improper 
and injurious alteration of rank, which quite unnoticed, and as if with the best conscience, threatens nowadays 
to establish itself in the relations of science and philosophy. I mean to say that one must have the right out of 
one's own EXPERIENCE — experience, as it seems to me, always implies unfortunate experience? — to treat of 
such an important question of rank, so as not to speak of colour like the blind, or AGAINST science like 
women and artists ("Ah! this dreadful science!" sigh their instinct and their shame, "it always FINDS 
THINGS OUT!"). The declaration of independence of the scientific man, his emancipation from philosophy, 
is one of the subtler after-effects of democratic organization and disorganization: the self- glorification and 
self-conceitedness of the learned man is now everywhere in full bloom, and in its best springtime — which 
does not mean to imply that in this case self-praise smells sweet. Here also the instinct of the populace cries, 
"Freedom from all masters!" and after science has, with the happiest results, resisted theology, whose 
"hand-maid" it had been too long, it now proposes in its wantonness and indiscretion to lay down laws for 
philosophy, and in its turn to play the "master" — what am I saying! to play the PHILOSOPHER on its own 
account. My memory — the memory of a scientific man, if you please ! — teems with the naivetes of insolence 
which I have heard about philosophy and philosophers from young naturalists and old physicians (not to 
mention the most cultured and most conceited of all learned men, the philologists and schoolmasters, who are 
both the one and the other by profession). On one occasion it was the specialist and the Jack Horner who 
instinctively stood on the defensive against all synthetic tasks and capabilities; at another time it was the 
industrious worker who had got a scent of OTIUM and refined luxuriousness in the internal economy of the 
philosopher, and felt himself aggrieved and belittled thereby. On another occasion it was the colour-blindness 
of the utilitarian, who sees nothing in philosophy but a series of REFUTED systems, and an extravagant 
expenditure which "does nobody any good". At another time the fear of disguised mysticism and of the 
boundary-adjustment of knowledge became conspicuous, at another time the disregard of individual 
philosophers, which had involuntarily extended to disregard of philosophy generally. In fine, I found most 
frequently, behind the proud disdain of philosophy in young scholars, the evil after-effect of some particular 
philosopher, to whom on the whole obedience had been foresworn, without, however, the spell of his scornful 
estimates of other philosophers having been got rid of — the result being a general ill-will to all philosophy. 
(Such seems to me, for instance, the after-effect of Schopenhauer on the most modern Germany: by his 
unintelligent rage against Hegel, he has succeeded in severing the whole of the last generation of Germans 
from its connection with German culture, which culture, all things considered, has been an elevation and a 
divining refinement of the HISTORICAL SENSE, but precisely at this point Schopenhauer himself was poor, 
irreceptive, and un-German to the extent of ingeniousness.) On the whole, speaking generally, it may just 
have been the humanness, all-too-humanness of the modern philosophers themselves, in short, their 
contemptibleness, which has injured most radically the reverence for philosophy and opened the doors to the 
instinct of the populace. Let it but be acknowledged to what an extent our modern world diverges from the 
whole style of the world of Heraclitus, Plato, Empedocles, and whatever else all the royal and magnificent 
anchorites of the spirit were called, and with what justice an honest man of science MAY feel himself of a 
better family and origin, in view of such representatives of philosophy, who, owing to the fashion of the 
present day, are just as much aloft as they are down below — in Germany, for instance, the two lions of Berlin, 


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the anarchist Eugen Duhring and the amalgamist Eduard von Hartmann. It is especially the sight of those 
hotch-potch philosophers, who call themselves "realists," or "positivists," which is calculated to implant a 
dangerous distrust in the soul of a young and ambitious scholar those philosophers, at the best, are themselves 
but scholars and specialists, that is very evident! All of them are persons who have been vanquished and 
BROUGHT BACK AGAIN under the dominion of science, who at one time or another claimed more from 
themselves, without having a right to the "more" and its responsibility — and who now, creditably, 
rancorously, and vindictively, represent in word and deed, DISBELIEF in the master-task and supremacy of 
philosophy After all, how could it be otherwise? Science flourishes nowadays and has the good conscience 
clearly visible on its countenance, while that to which the entire modern philosophy has gradually sunk, the 
remnant of philosophy of the present day, excites distrust and displeasure, if not scorn and pity Philosophy 
reduced to a "theory of knowledge," no more in fact than a diffident science of epochs and doctrine of 
forbearance a philosophy that never even gets beyond the threshold, and rigorously DENIES itself the right to 
enter — that is philosophy in its last throes, an end, an agony, something that awakens pity. How could such a 
philosophy — RULE ! 

205. The dangers that beset the evolution of the philosopher are, in fact, so manifold nowadays, that one might 
doubt whether this fruit could still come to maturity. The extent and towering structure of the sciences have 
increased enormously, and therewith also the probability that the philosopher will grow tired even as a learner, 
or will attach himself somewhere and "specialize" so that he will no longer attain to his elevation, that is to 
say, to his superspection, his circumspection, and his DESPECTION. Or he gets aloft too late, when the best 
of his maturity and strength is past, or when he is impaired, coarsened, and deteriorated, so that his view, his 
general estimate of things, is no longer of much importance. It is perhaps just the refinement of his intellectual 
conscience that makes him hesitate and linger on the way, he dreads the temptation to become a dilettante, a 
millepede, a milleantenna, he knows too well that as a discerner, one who has lost his self-respect no longer 
commands, no longer LEADS, unless he should aspire to become a great play-actor, a philosophical 
Cagliostro and spiritual rat- catcher — in short, a misleader. This is in the last instance a question of taste, if it 
has not really been a question of conscience. To double once more the philosopher's difficulties, there is also 
the fact that he demands from himself a verdict, a Yea or Nay, not concerning science, but concerning life and 
the worth of life — he learns unwillingly to believe that it is his right and even his duty to obtain this verdict, 
and he has to seek his way to the right and the belief only through the most extensive (perhaps disturbing and 
destroying) experiences, often hesitating, doubting, and dumbfounded. In fact, the philosopher has long been 
mistaken and confused by the multitude, either with the scientific man and ideal scholar, or with the 
religiously elevated, desensualized, desecularized visionary and God- intoxicated man; and even yet when 
one hears anybody praised, because he lives "wisely," or "as a philosopher," it hardly means anything more 
than "prudently and apart." Wisdom: that seems to the populace to be a kind of flight, a means and artifice for 
withdrawing successfully from a bad game; but the GENUINE philosopher — does it not seem so to US, my 
friends? — lives "unphilosophically" and "unwisely," above all, IMPRUDENTLY, and feels the obligation and 
burden of a hundred attempts and temptations of life — he risks HIMSELF constantly, he plays THIS bad 

206. In relation to the genius, that is to say, a being who either ENGENDERS or PRODUCES — both words 
understood in their fullest sense — the man of learning, the scientific average man, has always something of 
the old maid about him; for, like her, he is not conversant with the two principal functions of man. To both, of 
course, to the scholar and to the old maid, one concedes respectability, as if by way of indemnification — in 
these cases one emphasizes the respectability — and yet, in the compulsion of this concession, one has the 
same admixture of vexation. Let us examine more closely: what is the scientific man? Firstly, a commonplace 
type of man, with commonplace virtues: that is to say, a non-ruling, non-authoritative, and 
non-self-sufficient type of man; he possesses industry, patient adaptableness to rank and file, equability and 
moderation in capacity and requirement; he has the instinct for people like himself, and for that which they 
require — for instance: the portion of independence and green meadow without which there is no rest from 
labour, the claim to honour and consideration (which first and foremost presupposes recognition and 


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recognisability), the sunshine of a good name, the perpetual ratification of his value and usefulness, with 
which the inward DISTRUST which lies at the bottom of the heart of all dependent men and gregarious 
animals, has again and again to be overcome. The learned man, as is appropriate, has also maladies and faults 
of an ignoble kind: he is full of petty envy, and has a lynx-eye for the weak points in those natures to whose 
elevations he cannot attain. He is confiding, yet only as one who lets himself go, but does not FLOW; and 
precisely before the man of the great current he stands all the colder and more reserved — his eye is then like a 
smooth and irresponsive lake, which is no longer moved by rapture or sympathy. The worst and most 
dangerous thing of which a scholar is capable results from the instinct of mediocrity of his type, from the 
Jesuitism of mediocrity, which labours instinctively for the destruction of the exceptional man, and 
endeavours to break — or still better, to relax — every bent bow To relax, of course, with consideration, and 
naturally with an indulgent hand — to RELAX with confiding sympathy that is the real art of Jesuitism, which 
has always understood how to introduce itself as the religion of sympathy. 

207. However gratefully one may welcome the OBJECTIVE spirit — and who has not been sick to death of all 
subjectivity and its confounded IPSISIMOSITY! — in the end, however, one must learn caution even with 
regard to one's gratitude, and put a stop to the exaggeration with which the unselfing and depersonalizing of 
the spirit has recently been celebrated, as if it were the goal in itself, as if it were salvation and 
glorification — as is especially accustomed to happen in the pessimist school, which has also in its turn good 
reasons for paying the highest honours to "disinterested knowledge" The objective man, who no longer curses 
and scolds like the pessimist, the IDEAL man of learning in whom the scientific instinct blossoms forth fully 
after a thousand complete and partial failures, is assuredly one of the most costly instruments that exist, but 
his place is in the hand of one who is more powerful He is only an instrument, we may say, he is a 
MIRROR — he is no "purpose in himself The objective man is in truth a mirror accustomed to prostration 
before everything that wants to be known, with such desires only as knowing or "reflecting" implies — he 
waits until something comes, and then expands himself sensitively, so that even the light footsteps and 
gliding-past of spiritual beings may not be lost on his surface and film Whatever "personality" he still 
possesses seems to him accidental, arbitrary, or still oftener, disturbing, so much has he come to regard 
himself as the passage and reflection of outside forms and events He calls up the recollection of "himself 
with an effort, and not infrequently wrongly, he readily confounds himself with other persons, he makes 
mistakes with regard to his own needs, and here only is he unrefined and negligent Perhaps he is troubled 
about the health, or the pettiness and confined atmosphere of wife and friend, or the lack of companions and 
society — indeed, he sets himself to reflect on his suffering, but in vain! His thoughts already rove away to the 
MORE GENERAL case, and tomorrow he knows as little as he knew yesterday how to help himself He does 
not now take himself seriously and devote time to himself he is serene, NOT from lack of trouble, but from 
lack of capacity for grasping and dealing with HIS trouble The habitual complaisance with respect to all 
objects and experiences, the radiant and impartial hospitality with which he receives everything that comes his 
way, his habit of inconsiderate good-nature, of dangerous indifference as to Yea and Nay: alas! there are 
enough of cases in which he has to atone for these virtues of his! — and as man generally, he becomes far too 
easily the CAPUT MORTUUM of such virtues. Should one wish love or hatred from him — I mean love and 
hatred as God, woman, and animal understand them — he will do what he can, and furnish what he can. But 
one must not be surprised if it should not be much — if he should show himself just at this point to be false, 
fragile, questionable, and deteriorated. His love is constrained, his hatred is artificial, and rather UNN TOUR 
DE FORCE, a slight ostentation and exaggeration. He is only genuine so far as he can be objective; only in 
his serene totality is he still "nature" and "natural." His mirroring and eternally self-polishing soul no longer 
knows how to affirm, no longer how to deny; he does not command; neither does he destroy. "JE NE 
MEPRISE PRESQUE RIEN"— he says, with Leibniz: let us not overlook nor undervalue the PRESQUE! 
Neither is he a model man; he does not go in advance of any one, nor after, either; he places himself generally 
too far off to have any reason for espousing the cause of either good or evil. If he has been so long 
confounded with the PHILOSOPHER, with the Caesarian trainer and dictator of civilization, he has had far 
too much honour, and what is more essential in him has been overlooked — he is an instrument, something of a 
slave, though certainly the sublimest sort of slave, but nothing in himself — PRESQUE RIEN! The objective 


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man is an instrument, a costly, easily injured, easily tarnished measuring instrument and mirroring apparatus, 
which is to be taken care of and respected; but he is no goal, not outgoing nor upgoing, no complementary 
man in whom the REST of existence justifies itself, no termination — and still less a commencement, an 
engendering, or primary cause, nothing hardy, powerful, self-centred, that wants to be master; but rather only 
a soft, inflated, delicate, movable potter's- form, that must wait for some kind of content and frame to "shape" 
itself thereto — for the most part a man without frame and content, a "selfless" man. Consequently, also, 
nothing for women, IN PARENTHESI. 

208. When a philosopher nowadays makes known that he is not a skeptic — I hope that has been gathered from 
the foregoing description of the objective spirit? — people all hear it impatiently; they regard him on that 
account with some apprehension, they would like to ask so many, many questions . . . indeed among timid 
hearers, of whom there are now so many, he is henceforth said to be dangerous. With his repudiation of 
skepticism, it seems to them as if they heard some evil-threatening sound in the distance, as if a new kind of 
explosive were being tried somewhere, a dynamite of the spirit, perhaps a newly discovered Russian 
NIHILINE, a pessimism BONAE VOLUNTATIS, that not only denies, means denial, but-dreadful thought! 
PRACTISES denial. Against this kind of "good-will" — a will to the veritable, actual negation of life — there 
is, as is generally acknowledged nowadays, no better soporific and sedative than skepticism, the mild, 
pleasing, lulling poppy of skepticism; and Hamlet himself is now prescribed by the doctors of the day as an 
antidote to the "spirit," and its underground noises. "Are not our ears already full of bad sounds?" say the 
skeptics, as lovers of repose, and almost as a kind of safety police; "this subterranean Nay is terrible! Be still, 
ye pessimistic moles!" The skeptic, in effect, that delicate creature, is far too easily frightened; his conscience 
is schooled so as to start at every Nay, and even at that sharp, decided Yea, and feels something like a bite 
thereby. Yea! and Nay! — they seem to him opposed to morality; he loves, on the contrary, to make a festival 
to his virtue by a noble aloofness, while perhaps he says with Montaigne: "What do I know?" Or with 
Socrates: "I know that I know nothing." Or: "Here I do not trust myself, no door is open to me." Or: "Even if 
the door were open, why should I enter immediately?" Or: "What is the use of any hasty hypotheses? It might 
quite well be in good taste to make no hypotheses at all. Are you absolutely obliged to straighten at once what 
is crooked? to stuff every hole with some kind of oakum? Is there not time enough for that? Has not the time 
leisure? Oh, ye demons, can ye not at all WAIT? The uncertain also has its charms, the Sphinx, too, is a Circe, 
and Circe, too, was a philosopher." — Thus does a skeptic console himself; and in truth he needs some 
consolation. For skepticism is the most spiritual expression of a certain many-sided physiological 
temperament, which in ordinary language is called nervous debility and sickliness; it arises whenever races or 
classes which have been long separated, decisively and suddenly blend with one another. In the new 
generation, which has inherited as it were different standards and valuations in its blood, everything is 
disquiet, derangement, doubt, and tentativeness; the best powers operate restrictively, the very virtues prevent 
each other growing and becoming strong, equilibrium, ballast, and perpendicular stability are lacking in body 
and soul. That, however, which is most diseased and degenerated in such nondescripts is the WILL; they are 
no longer familiar with independence of decision, or the courageous feeling of pleasure in willing — they are 
doubtful of the "freedom of the will" even in their dreams Our present-day Europe, the scene of a senseless, 
precipitate attempt at a radical blending of classes, and CONSEQUENTLY of races, is therefore skeptical in 
all its heights and depths, sometimes exhibiting the mobile skepticism which springs impatiently and 
wantonly from branch to branch, sometimes with gloomy aspect, like a cloud over-charged with interrogative 
signs — and often sick unto death of its will! Paralysis of will, where do we not find this cripple sitting 
nowadays! And yet how bedecked oftentimes' How seductively ornamented! There are the finest gala dresses 
and disguises for this disease, and that, for instance, most of what places itself nowadays in the show-cases as 
"objectiveness," "the scientific spirit," "LART POUR LART," and "pure voluntary knowledge," is only 
decked-out skepticism and paralysis of will — I am ready to answer for this diagnosis of the European 
disease — The disease of the will is diffused unequally over Europe, it is worst and most varied where 
civilization has longest prevailed, it decreases according as "the barbarian" still — or again — asserts his claims 
under the loose drapery of Western culture It is therefore in the France of today, as can be readily disclosed 
and comprehended, that the will is most infirm, and France, which has always had a masterly aptitude for 


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converting even the portentous crises of its spirit into something charming and seductive, now manifests 
emphatically its intellectual ascendancy over Europe, by being the school and exhibition of all the charms of 
skepticism The power to will and to persist, moreover, in a resolution, is already somewhat stronger in 
Germany, and again in the North of Germany it is stronger than in Central Germany, it is considerably 
stronger in England, Spain, and Corsica, associated with phlegm in the former and with hard skulls in the 
latter — not to mention Italy, which is too young yet to know what it wants, and must first show whether it can 
exercise will, but it is strongest and most surprising of all in that immense middle empire where Europe as it 
were flows back to Asia — namely, in Russia There the power to will has been long stored up and 
accumulated, there the will — uncertain whether to be negative or affirmative — waits threateningly to be 
discharged (to borrow their pet phrase from our physicists) Perhaps not only Indian wars and complications in 
Asia would be necessary to free Europe from its greatest danger, but also internal subversion, the shattering of 
the empire into small states, and above all the introduction of parliamentary imbecility, together with the 
obligation of every one to read his newspaper at breakfast I do not say this as one who desires it, in my heart I 
should rather prefer the contrary — I mean such an increase in the threatening attitude of Russia, that Europe 
would have to make up its mind to become equally threatening — namely, TO ACQUIRE ONE WILL, by 
means of a new caste to rule over the Continent, a persistent, dreadful will of its own, that can set its aims 
thousands of years ahead; so that the long spun-out comedy of its petty-statism, and its dynastic as well as its 
democratic many-willed-ness, might finally be brought to a close. The time for petty politics is past; the next 
century will bring the struggle for the dominion of the world — the COMPULSION to great politics. 

209. As to how far the new warlike age on which we Europeans have evidently entered may perhaps favour 
the growth of another and stronger kind of skepticism, I should like to express myself preliminarily merely by 
a parable, which the lovers of German history will already understand. That unscrupulous enthusiast for big, 
handsome grenadiers (who, as King of Prussia, brought into being a military and skeptical genius — and 
therewith, in reality, the new and now triumphantly emerged type of German), the problematic, crazy father of 
Frederick the Great, had on one point the very knack and lucky grasp of the genius: he knew what was then 
lacking in Germany, the want of which was a hundred times more alarming and serious than any lack of 
culture and social form — his ill-will to the young Frederick resulted from the anxiety of a profound instinct. 
MEN WERE LACKING; and he suspected, to his bitterest regret, that his own son was not man enough. 
There, however, he deceived himself; but who would not have deceived himself in his place? He saw his son 
lapsed to atheism, to the ESPRIT, to the pleasant frivolity of clever Frenchmen — he saw in the background 
the great bloodsucker, the spider skepticism; he suspected the incurable wretchedness of a heart no longer 
hard enough either for evil or good, and of a broken will that no longer commands, is no longer ABLE to 
command. Meanwhile, however, there grew up in his son that new kind of harder and more dangerous 
skepticism — who knows TO WHAT EXTENT it was encouraged just by his father's hatred and the icy 
melancholy of a will condemned to solitude? — the skepticism of daring manliness, which is closely related to 
the genius for war and conquest, and made its first entrance into Germany in the person of the great Frederick. 
This skepticism despises and nevertheless grasps; it undermines and takes possession; it does not believe, but 
it does not thereby lose itself; it gives the spirit a dangerous liberty, but it keeps strict guard over the heart. It 
is the GERMAN form of skepticism, which, as a continued Fredericianism, risen to the highest spirituality, 
has kept Europe for a considerable time under the dominion of the German spirit and its critical and historical 
distrust Owing to the insuperably strong and tough masculine character of the great German philologists and 
historical critics (who, rightly estimated, were also all of them artists of destruction and dissolution), a NEW 
conception of the German spirit gradually established itself — in spite of all Romanticism in music and 
philosophy — in which the leaning towards masculine skepticism was decidedly prominent whether, for 
instance, as fearlessness of gaze, as courage and sternness of the dissecting hand, or as resolute will to 
dangerous voyages of discovery, to spiritualized North Pole expeditions under barren and dangerous skies. 
There may be good grounds for it when warm-blooded and superficial humanitarians cross themselves before 
this spirit, CET ESPRIT FATALISTE, IRONIQUE, MEPHISTOPHELIQUE, as Michelet calls it, not without 
a shudder. But if one would realize how characteristic is this fear of the "man" in the German spirit which 
awakened Europe out of its "dogmatic slumber," let us call to mind the former conception which had to be 


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overcome by this new one — and that it is not so very long ago that a masculinized woman could dare, with 
unbridled presumption, to recommend the Germans to the interest of Europe as gentle, goodhearted, 
weak-willed, and poetical fools. Finally, let us only understand profoundly enough Napoleon's astonishment 
when he saw Goethe it reveals what had been regarded for centuries as the "German spirit" "VOILA UN 
HOMME!" — that was as much as to say "But this is a MAN! And I only expected to see a German!" 

Supposing, then, that in the picture of the philosophers of the future, some trait suggests the question whether 
they must not perhaps be skeptics in the last-mentioned sense, something in them would only be designated 
thereby — and not they themselves. With equal right they might call themselves critics, and assuredly they will 
be men of experiments. By the name with which I ventured to baptize them, I have already expressly 
emphasized their attempting and their love of attempting is this because, as critics in body and soul, they will 
love to make use of experiments in a new, and perhaps wider and more dangerous sense? In their passion for 
knowledge, will they have to go further in daring and painful attempts than the sensitive and pampered taste 
of a democratic century can approve of? — There is no doubt these coming ones will be least able to dispense 
with the serious and not unscrupulous qualities which distinguish the critic from the skeptic I mean the 
certainty as to standards of worth, the conscious employment of a unity of method, the wary courage, the 
standing-alone, and the capacity for self-responsibility, indeed, they will avow among themselves a 
DELIGHT in denial and dissection, and a certain considerate cruelty, which knows how to handle the knife 
surely and deftly, even when the heart bleeds They will be STERNER (and perhaps not always towards 
themselves only) than humane people may desire, they will not deal with the "truth" in order that it may 
"please" them, or "elevate" and "inspire" them — they will rather have little faith in "TRUTH" bringing with it 
such revels for the feelings. They will smile, those rigourous spirits, when any one says in their presence 
"That thought elevates me, why should it not be true?" or "That work enchants me, why should it not be 
beautiful?" or "That artist enlarges me, why should he not be great?" Perhaps they will not only have a smile, 
but a genuine disgust for all that is thus rapturous, idealistic, feminine, and hermaphroditic, and if any one 
could look into their inmost hearts, he would not easily find therein the intention to reconcile "Christian 
sentiments" with "antique taste," or even with "modern parliamentarism" (the kind of reconciliation 
necessarily found even among philosophers in our very uncertain and consequently very conciliatory century). 
Critical discipline, and every habit that conduces to purity and rigour in intellectual matters, will not only be 
demanded from themselves by these philosophers of the future, they may even make a display thereof as their 
special adornment — nevertheless they will not want to be called critics on that account. It will seem to them 
no small indignity to philosophy to have it decreed, as is so welcome nowadays, that "philosophy itself is 
criticism and critical science — and nothing else whatever!" Though this estimate of philosophy may enjoy the 
approval of all the Positivists of France and Germany (and possibly it even flattered the heart and taste of 
KANT: let us call to mind the titles of his principal works), our new philosophers will say, notwithstanding, 
that critics are instruments of the philosopher, and just on that account, as instruments, they are far from being 
philosophers themselves! Even the great Chinaman of Konigsberg was only a great critic. 

211. 1 insist upon it that people finally cease confounding philosophical workers, and in general scientific 
men, with philosophers — that precisely here one should strictly give "each his own," and not give those far 
too much, these far too little. It may be necessary for the education of the real philosopher that he himself 
should have once stood upon all those steps upon which his servants, the scientific workers of philosophy, 
remain standing, and MUST remain standing he himself must perhaps have been critic, and dogmatist, and 
historian, and besides, poet, and collector, and traveler, and riddle-reader, and moralist, and seer, and "free 
spirit," and almost everything, in order to traverse the whole range of human values and estimations, and that 
he may BE ABLE with a variety of eyes and consciences to look from a height to any distance, from a depth 
up to any height, from a nook into any expanse. But all these are only preliminary conditions for his task; this 
task itself demands something else — it requires him TO CREATE VALUES. The philosophical workers, after 
the excellent pattern of Kant and Hegel, have to fix and formalize some great existing body of 
valuations — that is to say, former DETERMINATIONS OF VALUE, creations of value, which have become 
prevalent, and are for a time called "truths" — whether in the domain of the LOGICAL, the POLITICAL 


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(moral), or the ARTISTIC. It is for these investigators to make whatever has happened and been esteemed 
hitherto, conspicuous, conceivable, intelligible, and manageable, to shorten everything long, even "time" 
itself, and to SUBJUGATE the entire past: an immense and wonderful task, in the carrying out of which all 
refined pride, all tenacious will, can surely find satisfaction. THE REAL PHILOSOPHERS, HOWEVER, 
ARE COMMANDERS AND LAW-GIVERS; they say: "Thus SHALL it be!" They determine first the 
Whither and the Why of mankind, and thereby set aside the previous labour of all philosophical workers, and 
all subjugators of the past — they grasp at the future with a creative hand, and whatever is and was, becomes 
for them thereby a means, an instrument, and a hammer. Their "knowing" is CREATING, their creating is a 
law-giving, their will to truth is — WILL TO POWER. — Are there at present such philosophers? Have there 
ever been such philosophers? MUST there not be such philosophers some day? . . . 

212. It is always more obvious to me that the philosopher, as a man INDISPENSABLE for the morrow and 
the day after the morrow, has ever found himself, and HAS BEEN OBLIGED to find himself, in contradiction 
to the day in which he lives; his enemy has always been the ideal of his day. Hitherto all those extraordinary 
furtherers of humanity whom one calls philosophers — who rarely regarded themselves as lovers of wisdom, 
but rather as disagreeable fools and dangerous interrogators — have found their mission, their hard, 
involuntary, imperative mission (in the end, however, the greatness of their mission), in being the bad 
conscience of their age. In putting the vivisector's knife to the breast of the very VIRTUES OF THEIR AGE, 
they have betrayed their own secret; it has been for the sake of a NEW greatness of man, a new untrodden 
path to his aggrandizement. They have always disclosed how much hypocrisy, indolence, self-indulgence, 
and self-neglect, how much falsehood was concealed under the most venerated types of contemporary 
morality, how much virtue was OUTLIVED, they have always said "We must remove hence to where YOU 
are least at home" In the face of a world of "modern ideas," which would like to confine every one in a corner, 
in a "specialty," a philosopher, if there could be philosophers nowadays, would be compelled to place the 
greatness of man, the conception of "greatness," precisely in his comprehensiveness and multifariousness, in 
his all-roundness, he would even determine worth and rank according to the amount and variety of that which 
a man could bear and take upon himself, according to the EXTENT to which a man could stretch his 
responsibility Nowadays the taste and virtue of the age weaken and attenuate the will, nothing is so adapted to 
the spirit of the age as weakness of will consequently, in the ideal of the philosopher, strength of will, 
sternness, and capacity for prolonged resolution, must specially be included in the conception of "greatness", 
with as good a right as the opposite doctrine, with its ideal of a silly, renouncing, humble, selfless humanity, 
was suited to an opposite age — such as the sixteenth century, which suffered from its accumulated energy of 
will, and from the wildest torrents and floods of selfishness In the time of Socrates, among men only of 
worn-out instincts, old conservative Athenians who let themselves go — "for the sake of happiness," as they 
said, for the sake of pleasure, as their conduct indicated — and who had continually on their lips the old 
pompous words to which they had long forfeited the right by the life they led, IRONY was perhaps necessary 
for greatness of soul, the wicked Socratic assurance of the old physician and plebeian, who cut ruthlessly into 
his own flesh, as into the flesh and heart of the "noble," with a look that said plainly enough "Do not 
dissemble before me! here — we are equal!" At present, on the contrary, when throughout Europe the herding- 
animal alone attains to honours, and dispenses honours, when "equality of right" can too readily be 
transformed into equality in wrong — I mean to say into general war against everything rare, strange, and 
privileged, against the higher man, the higher soul, the higher duty, the higher responsibility, the creative 
plenipotence and lordliness — at present it belongs to the conception of "greatness" to be noble, to wish to be 
apart, to be capable of being different, to stand alone, to have to live by personal initiative, and the 
philosopher will betray something of his own ideal when he asserts "He shall be the greatest who can be the 
most solitary, the most concealed, the most divergent, the man beyond good and evil, the master of his virtues, 
and of super- abundance of will; precisely this shall be called GREATNESS: as diversified as can be entire, as 
ample as can be full." And to ask once more the question: Is greatness POSSIBLE — nowadays? 

213. It is difficult to learn what a philosopher is, because it cannot be taught: one must "know" it by 
experience — or one should have the pride NOT to know it. The fact that at present people all talk of things of 


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which they CANNOT have any experience, is true more especially and unfortunately as concerns the 
philosopher and philosophical matters: — the very few know them, are permitted to know them, and all 
popular ideas about them are false. Thus, for instance, the truly philosophical combination of a bold, 
exuberant spirituality which runs at presto pace, and a dialectic rigour and necessity which makes no false 
step, is unknown to most thinkers and scholars from their own experience, and therefore, should any one 
speak of it in their presence, it is incredible to them. They conceive of every necessity as troublesome, as a 
painful compulsory obedience and state of constraint; thinking itself is regarded by them as something slow 
and hesitating, almost as a trouble, and often enough as "worthy of the SWEAT of the noble" — but not at all 
as something easy and divine, closely related to dancing and exuberance! "To think" and to take a matter 
"seriously," "arduously" — that is one and the same thing to them; such only has been their "experience." — 
Artists have here perhaps a finer intuition; they who know only too well that precisely when they no longer do 
anything "arbitrarily," and everything of necessity, their feeling of freedom, of subtlety, of power, of 
creatively fixing, disposing, and shaping, reaches its climax — in short, that necessity and "freedom of will" 
are then the same thing with them. There is, in fine, a gradation of rank in psychical states, to which the 
gradation of rank in the problems corresponds; and the highest problems repel ruthlessly every one who 
ventures too near them, without being predestined for their solution by the loftiness and power of his 
spirituality. Of what use is it for nimble, everyday intellects, or clumsy, honest mechanics and empiricists to 
press, in their plebeian ambition, close to such problems, and as it were into this "holy of holies" — as so often 
happens nowadays! But coarse feet must never tread upon such carpets: this is provided for in the primary law 
of things; the doors remain closed to those intruders, though they may dash and break their heads thereon. 
People have always to be born to a high station, or, more definitely, they have to be BRED for it: a person has 
only a right to philosophy — taking the word in its higher significance — in virtue of his descent; the ancestors, 
the "blood," decide here also. Many generations must have prepared the way for the coming of the 
philosopher; each of his virtues must have been separately acquired, nurtured, transmitted, and embodied; not 
only the bold, easy, delicate course and current of his thoughts, but above all the readiness for great 
responsibilities, the majesty of ruling glance and contemning look, the feeling of separation from the 
multitude with their duties and virtues, the kindly patronage and defense of whatever is misunderstood and 
calumniated, be it God or devil, the delight and practice of supreme justice, the art of commanding, the 
amplitude of will, the lingering eye which rarely admires, rarely looks up, rarely loves. . . . 


214. OUR Virtues? — It is probable that we, too, have still our virtues, althoughnaturally they are not those 
sincere and massive virtues on account of which we hold our grandfathers in esteem and also at a little 
distance from us. We Europeans of the day after tomorrow, we firstlings of the twentieth century — with all 
our dangerous curiosity, our multifariousness and art of disguising, our mellow and seemingly sweetened 
cruelty in sense and spirit — we shall presumably, IF we must have virtues, have those only which have come 
to agreement with our most secret and heartfelt inclinations, with our most ardent requirements: well, then, let 
us look for them in our labyrinths! — where, as we know, so many things lose themselves, so many things get 
quite lost! And is there anything finer than to SEARCH for one's own virtues? Is it not almost to BELIEVE in 
one's own virtues? But this "believing in one's own virtues" — is it not practically the same as what was 
formerly called one's "good conscience," that long, respectable pigtail of an idea, which our grandfathers used 
to hang behind their heads, and often enough also behind their understandings? It seems, therefore, that 
however little we may imagine ourselves to be old-fashioned and grandfatherly respectable in other respects, 
in one thing we are nevertheless the worthy grandchildren of our grandfathers, we last Europeans with good 
consciences: we also still wear their pigtail. — Ah! if you only knew how soon, so very soon — it will be 

215. As in the stellar firmament there are sometimes two suns which determine the path of one planet, and in 
certain cases suns of different colours shine around a single planet, now with red light, now with green, and 
then simultaneously illumine and flood it with motley colours: so we modern men, owing to the complicated 


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mechanism of our "firmament," are determined by DIFFERENT moralities; our actions shine alternately in 
different colours, and are seldom unequivocal — and there are often cases, also, in which our actions are 

216. To love one's enemies? I think that has been well learnt: it takes place thousands of times at present on a 
large and small scale; indeed, at times the higher and sublimer thing takes place: — we learn to DESPISE when 
we love, and precisely when we love best; all of it, however, unconsciously, without noise, without 
ostentation, with the shame and secrecy of goodness, which forbids the utterance of the pompous word and 
the formula of virtue. Morality as attitude — is opposed to our taste nowadays. This is ALSO an advance, as it 
was an advance in our fathers that religion as an attitude finally became opposed to their taste, including the 
enmity and Voltairean bitterness against religion (and all that formerly belonged to freethinker-pantomime). 
It is the music in our conscience, the dance in our spirit, to which Puritan litanies, moral sermons, and goody- 
goodness won't chime. 

217. Let us be careful in dealing with those who attach great importance to being credited with moral tact and 
subtlety in moral discernment! They never forgive us if they have once made a mistake BEFORE us (or even 
with REGARD to us) — they inevitably become our instinctive calumniators and detractors, even when they 
still remain our "friends." — Blessed are the forgetful: for they "get the better" even of their blunders. 

218. The psychologists of France — and where else are there still psychologists nowadays? — have never yet 
exhausted their bitter and manifold enjoyment of the betise bourgeoise, just as though ... in short, they betray 
something thereby. Flaubert, for instance, the honest citizen of Rouen, neither saw, heard, nor tasted anything 
else in the end; it was his mode of self-torment and refined cruelty. As this is growing wearisome, I would 
now recommend for a change something else for a pleasure — namely, the unconscious astuteness with which 
good, fat, honest mediocrity always behaves towards loftier spirits and the tasks they have to perform, the 
subtle, barbed, Jesuitical astuteness, which is a thousand times subtler than the taste and understanding of the 
middle-class in its best moments — subtler even than the understanding of its victims: — a repeated proof that 
"instinct" is the most intelligent of all kinds of intelligence which have hitherto been discovered. In short, you 
psychologists, study the philosophy of the "rule" in its struggle with the "exception": there you have a 
spectacle fit for Gods and godlike malignity ! Or, in plainer words, practise vivisection on "good people," on 
the "homo bonae voluntatis," ON YOURSELVES! 

219. The practice of judging and condemning morally, is the favourite revenge of the intellectually shallow on 
those who are less so, it is also a kind of indemnity for their being badly endowed by nature, and finally, it is 
an opportunity for acquiring spirit and BECOMING subtle — malice spiritualises. They are glad in their 
inmost heart that there is a standard according to which those who are over-endowed with intellectual goods 
and privileges, are equal to them, they contend for the "equality of all before God," and almost NEED the 
belief in God for this purpose. It is among them that the most powerful antagonists of atheism are found. If 
any one were to say to them "A lofty spirituality is beyond all comparison with the honesty and respectability 
of a merely moral man" — it would make them furious, I shall take care not to say so. I would rather flatter 
them with my theory that lofty spirituality itself exists only as the ultimate product of moral qualities, that it is 
a synthesis of all qualities attributed to the "merely moral" man, after they have been acquired singly through 
long training and practice, perhaps during a whole series of generations, that lofty spirituality is precisely the 
spiritualising of justice, and the beneficent severity which knows that it is authorized to maintain 
GRADATIONS OF RANK in the world, even among things — and not only among men. 

220. Now that the praise of the "disinterested person" is so popular one must — probably not without some 
danger — get an idea of WHAT people actually take an interest in, and what are the things generally which 
fundamentally and profoundly concern ordinary men — including the cultured, even the learned, and perhaps 
philosophers also, if appearances do not deceive. The fact thereby becomes obvious that the greater part of 
what interests and charms higher natures, and more refined and fastidious tastes, seems absolutely 


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"uninteresting" to the average man — if, notwithstanding, he perceive devotion to these interests, he calls it 
desinteresse, and wonders how it is possible to act "disinterestedly." There have been philosophers who could 
give this popular astonishment a seductive and mystical, other-worldly expression (perhaps because they did 
not know the higher nature by experience?), instead of stating the naked and candidly reasonable truth that 
"disinterested" action is very interesting and "interested" action, provided that. . . "And love?" — What! Even 
an action for love's sake shall be "unegoistic"? But you fools — ! "And the praise of the self-sacrificer?" — But 
whoever has really offered sacrifice knows that he wanted and obtained something for it — perhaps something 
from himself for something from himself; that he relinquished here in order to have more there, perhaps in 
general to be more, or even feel himself "more." But this is a realm of questions and answers in which a more 
fastidious spirit does not like to stay: for here truth has to stifle her yawns so much when she is obliged to 
answer. And after all, truth is a woman; one must not use force with her. 

221. "It sometimes happens," said a moralistic pedant and trifle-retailer, "that I honour and respect an 
unselfish man: not, however, because he is unselfish, but because I think he has a right to be useful to another 
man at his own expense. In short, the question is always who HE is, and who THE OTHER is. For instance, in 
a person created and destined for command, self- denial and modest retirement, instead of being virtues, 
would be the waste of virtues: so it seems to me. Every system of unegoistic morality which takes itself 
unconditionally and appeals to every one, not only sins against good taste, but is also an incentive to sins of 
omission, an ADDITIONAL seduction under the mask of philanthropy — and precisely a seduction and injury 
to the higher, rarer, and more privileged types of men. Moral systems must be compelled first of all to bow 
before the GRADATIONS OF RANK; their presumption must be driven home to their conscience — until they 
thoroughly understand at last that it is IMMORAL to say that 'what is right for one is proper for 

another.'" — So said my moralistic pedant and bonhomme. Did he perhaps deserve to be laughed at when he 
thus exhorted systems of morals to practise morality? But one should not be too much in the right if one 
wishes to have the laughers on ONE'S OWN side; a grain of wrong pertains even to good taste. 

222. Wherever sympathy (fellow-suffering) is preached nowadays — and, if I gather rightly, no other religion 
is any longer preached — let the psychologist have his ears open through all the vanity, through all the noise 
which is natural to these preachers (as to all preachers), he will hear a hoarse, groaning, genuine note of 
SELF-CONTEMPT. It belongs to the overshadowing and uglifying of Europe, which has been on the 
increase for a century (the first symptoms of which are already specified documentarily in a thoughtful letter 
of Galiani to Madame d'Epinay)— IF IT IS NOT REALLY THE CAUSE THEREOF! The man of "modern 
ideas," the conceited ape, is excessively dissatisfied with himself-this is perfectly certain. He suffers, and his 
vanity wants him only "to suffer with his fellows." 

223. The hybrid European — a tolerably ugly plebeian, taken all in all — absolutely requires a costume: he 
needs history as a storeroom of costumes. To be sure, he notices that none of the costumes fit him 
properly — he changes and changes. Let us look at the nineteenth century with respect to these hasty 
preferences and changes in its masquerades of style, and also with respect to its moments of desperation on 
account of "nothing suiting" us. It is in vain to get ourselves up as romantic, or classical, or Christian, or 
Florentine, or barocco, or "national," in moribus et artibus: it does not "clothe us"! But the "spirit," especially 
the "historical spirit," profits even by this desperation: once and again a new sample of the past or of the 
foreign is tested, put on, taken off, packed up, and above all studied — we are the first studious age in puncto 
of "costumes," I mean as concerns morals, articles of belief, artistic tastes, and religions; we are prepared as 
no other age has ever been for a carnival in the grand style, for the most spiritual festival — laughter and 
arrogance, for the transcendental height of supreme folly and Aristophanic ridicule of the world. Perhaps we 
are still discovering the domain of our invention just here, the domain where even we can still be original, 
probably as parodists of the world's history and as God's Merry- Andrews, — perhaps, though nothing else of 
the present have a future, our laughter itself may have a future! 


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224. The historical sense (or the capacity for divining quickly the order of rank of the valuations according to 
which a people, a community, or an individual has lived, the "divining instinct" for the relationships of these 
valuations, for the relation of the authority of the valuations to the authority of the operating forces), — this 
historical sense, which we Europeans claim as our specialty, has come to us in the train of the enchanting and 
mad semi-barbarity into which Europe has been plunged by the democratic mingling of classes and races — it 
is only the nineteenth century that has recognized this faculty as its sixth sense. Owing to this mingling, the 
past of every form and mode of life, and of cultures which were formerly closely contiguous and 
superimposed on one another, flows forth into us "modern souls"; our instincts now run back in all directions, 
we ourselves are a kind of chaos: in the end, as we have said, the spirit perceives its advantage therein. By 
means of our semi-barbarity in body and in desire, we have secret access everywhere, such as a noble age 
never had; we have access above all to the labyrinth of imperfect civilizations, and to every form of 
semi-barbarity that has at any time existed on earth; and in so far as the most considerable part of human 
civilization hitherto has just been semi-barbarity, the "historical sense" implies almost the sense and instinct 
for everything, the taste and tongue for everything: whereby it immediately proves itself to be an IGNOBLE 
sense. For instance, we enjoy Homer once more: it is perhaps our happiest acquisition that we know how to 
appreciate Homer, whom men of distinguished culture (as the French of the seventeenth century, like Saint- 
Evremond, who reproached him for his ESPRIT VASTE, and even Voltaire, the last echo of the century) 
cannot and could not so easily appropriate — whom they scarcely permitted themselves to enjoy. The very 
decided Yea and Nay of their palate, their promptly ready disgust, their hesitating reluctance with regard to 
everything strange, their horror of the bad taste even of lively curiosity, and in general the averseness of every 
distinguished and self-sufficing culture to avow a new desire, a dissatisfaction with its own condition, or an 
admiration of what is strange: all this determines and disposes them unfavourably even towards the best 
things of the world which are not their property or could not become their prey — and no faculty is more 
unintelligible to such men than just this historical sense, with its truckling, plebeian curiosity. The case is not 
different with Shakespeare, that marvelous Spanish-Moorish-Saxon synthesis of taste, over whom an ancient 
Athenian of the circle of Eschylus would have half-killed himself with laughter or irritation: but we — accept 
precisely this wild motleyness, this medley of the most delicate, the most coarse, and the most artificial, with 
a secret confidence and cordiality; we enjoy it as a refinement of art reserved expressly for us, and allow 
ourselves to be as little disturbed by the repulsive fumes and the proximity of the English populace in which 
Shakespeare's art and taste lives, as perhaps on the Chiaja of Naples, where, with all our senses awake, we go 
our way, enchanted and voluntarily, in spite of the drain-odour of the lower quarters of the town. That as men 
of the "historical sense" we have our virtues, is not to be disputed: — we are unpretentious, unselfish, modest, 
brave, habituated to self-control and self-renunciation, very grateful, very patient, very complaisant — but 
with all this we are perhaps not very "tasteful." Let us finally confess it, that what is most difficult for us men 
of the "historical sense" to grasp, feel, taste, and love, what finds us fundamentally prejudiced and almost 
hostile, is precisely the perfection and ultimate maturity in every culture and art, the essentially noble in works 
and men, their moment of smooth sea and halcyon self-sufficiency, the goldenness and coldness which all 
things show that have perfected themselves. Perhaps our great virtue of the historical sense is in necessary 
contrast to GOOD taste, at least to the very bad taste; and we can only evoke in ourselves imperfectly, 
hesitatingly, and with compulsion the small, short, and happy godsends and glorifications of human life as 
they shine here and there: those moments and marvelous experiences when a great power has voluntarily 
come to a halt before the boundless and infinite, — when a super- abundance of refined delight has been 
enjoyed by a sudden checking and petrifying, by standing firmly and planting oneself fixedly on still 
trembling ground. PROPORTIONATENESS is strange to us, let us confess it to ourselves; our itching is 
really the itching for the infinite, the immeasurable. Like the rider on his forward panting horse, we let the 
reins fall before the infinite, we modern men, we semi- barbarians — and are only in OUR highest bliss when 

225. Whether it be hedonism, pessimism, utilitarianism, or eudaemonism, all those modes of thinking which 
measure the worth of things according to PLEASURE and PAIN, that is, according to accompanying 
circumstances and secondary considerations, are plausible modes of thought and naivetes, which every one 


Beyond Good and Evil 

conscious of CREATIVE powers and an artist's conscience will look down upon with scorn, though not 
without sympathy. Sympathy for you! — to be sure, that is not sympathy as you understand it: it is not 
sympathy for social "distress," for "society" with its sick and misfortuned, for the hereditarily vicious and 
defective who lie on the ground around us; still less is it sympathy for the grumbling, vexed, revolutionary 
slave-classes who strive after power — they call it "freedom." OUR sympathy is a loftier and further-sighted 
sympathy: — we see how MAN dwarfs himself, how YOU dwarf him! and there are moments when we view 
YOUR sympathy with an indescribable anguish, when we resist it, — when we regard your seriousness as 
more dangerous than any kind of levity. You want, if possible — and there is not a more foolish "if possible" 
—TO DO AWAY WITH SUFFERING; and we?— it really seems that WE would rather have it increased and 
made worse than it has ever been! Well-being, as you understand it — is certainly not a goal; it seems to us an 
END; a condition which at once renders man ludicrous and contemptible — and makes his destruction 
DESIRABLE! The discipline of suffering, of GREAT suffering — know ye not that it is only THIS discipline 
that has produced all the elevations of humanity hitherto? The tension of soul in misfortune which 
communicates to it its energy, its shuddering in view of rack and ruin, its inventiveness and bravery in 
undergoing, enduring, interpreting, and exploiting misfortune, and whatever depth, mystery, disguise, spirit, 
artifice, or greatness has been bestowed upon the soul — has it not been bestowed through suffering, through 
the discipline of great suffering? In man CREATURE and CREATOR are united: in man there is not only 
matter, shred, excess, clay, mire, folly, chaos; but there is also the creator, the sculptor, the hardness of the 
hammer, the divinity of the spectator, and the seventh day — do ye understand this contrast? And that YOUR 
sympathy for the "creature in man" applies to that which has to be fashioned, bruised, forged, stretched, 
roasted, annealed, refined — to that which must necessarily SUFFER, and IS MEANT to suffer? And our 
sympathy — do ye not understand what our REVERSE sympathy applies to, when it resists your sympathy as 
the worst of all pampering and enervation? — So it is sympathy AGAINST sympathy! — But to repeat it once 
more, there are higher problems than the problems of pleasure and pain and sympathy; and all systems of 
philosophy which deal only with these are naivetes. 

226. WE IMMORALISTS.-This world with which WE are concerned, in which we have to fear and love, this 
almost invisible, inaudible world of delicate command and delicate obedience, a world of "almost" in every 
respect, captious, insidious, sharp, and tender — yes, it is well protected from clumsy spectators and familiar 
curiosity! We are woven into a strong net and garment of duties, and CANNOT disengage 

ourselves — precisely here, we are "men of duty," even we! Occasionally, it is true, we dance in our "chains" 
and betwixt our "swords"; it is none the less true that more often we gnash our teeth under the circumstances, 
and are impatient at the secret hardship of our lot. But do what we will, fools and appearances say of us: 
"These are men WITHOUT duty," — we have always fools and appearances against us! 

227. Honesty, granting that it is the virtue of which we cannot rid ourselves, we free spirits — well, we will 
labour at it with all our perversity and love, and not tire of "perfecting" ourselves in OUR virtue, which alone 
remains: may its glance some day overspread like a gilded, blue, mocking twilight this aging civilization with 
its dull gloomy seriousness! And if, nevertheless, our honesty should one day grow weary, and sigh, and 
stretch its limbs, and find us too hard, and would fain have it pleasanter, easier, and gentler, like an agreeable 
vice, let us remain HARD, we latest Stoics, and let us send to its help whatever devilry we have in us: — our 
disgust at the clumsy and undefined, our "NITIMUR IN VETITUM," our love of adventure, our sharpened 
and fastidious curiosity, our most subtle, disguised, intellectual Will to Power and universal conquest, which 
rambles and roves avidiously around all the realms of the future — let us go with all our "devils" to the help of 
our "God"! It is probable that people will misunderstand and mistake us on that account: what does it matter! 
They will say: "Their 'honesty' — that is their devilry, and nothing else!" What does it matter! And even if they 
were right — have not all Gods hitherto been such sanctified, re-baptized devils? And after all, what do we 
know of ourselves? And what the spirit that leads us wants TO BE CALLED? (It is a question of names.) And 
how many spirits we harbour? Our honesty, we free spirits — let us be careful lest it become our vanity, our 
ornament and ostentation, our limitation, our stupidity! Every virtue inclines to stupidity, every stupidity to 
virtue; "stupid to the point of sanctity," they say in Russia, — let us be careful lest out of pure honesty we 


Beyond Good and Evil 

eventually become saints and bores! Is not life a hundred times too short for us — to bore ourselves? One 
would have to believe in eternal life in order to . . . 

228. 1 hope to be forgiven for discovering that all moral philosophy hitherto has been tedious and has 
belonged to the soporific appliances — and that "virtue," in my opinion, has been MORE injured by the 
TEDIOUSNESS of its advocates than by anything else; at the same time, however, I would not wish to 
overlook their general usefulness. It is desirable that as few people as possible should reflect upon morals, and 
consequently it is very desirable that morals should not some day become interesting! But let us not be afraid! 
Things still remain today as they have always been: I see no one in Europe who has (or DISCLOSES) an idea 
of the fact that philosophizing concerning morals might be conducted in a dangerous, captious, and ensnaring 
manner — that CALAMITY might be involved therein. Observe, for example, the indefatigable, inevitable 
English utilitarians: how ponderously and respectably they stalk on, stalk along (a Homeric metaphor 
expresses it better) in the footsteps of Bentham, just as he had already stalked in the footsteps of the 
respectable Helvetius! (no, he was not a dangerous man, Helvetius, CE SENATEUR POCOCURANTE, to 
use an expression of Galiani). No new thought, nothing of the nature of a finer turning or better expression of 
an old thought, not even a proper history of what has been previously thought on the subject: an 
IMPOSSIBLE literature, taking it all in all, unless one knows how to leaven it with some mischief. In effect, 
the old English vice called CANT, which is MORAL TARTUFFISM, has insinuated itself also into these 
moralists (whom one must certainly read with an eye to their motives if one MUST read them), concealed this 
time under the new form of the scientific spirit; moreover, there is not absent from them a secret struggle with 
the pangs of conscience, from which a race of former Puritans must naturally suffer, in all their scientific 
tinkering with morals. (Is not a moralist the opposite of a Puritan? That is to say, as a thinker who regards 
morality as questionable, as worthy of interrogation, in short, as a problem? Is moralizing not-immoral?) In 
the end, they all want English morality to be recognized as authoritative, inasmuch as mankind, or the 
"general utility," or "the happiness of the greatest number," — no! the happiness of ENGLAND, will be best 
served thereby. They would like, by all means, to convince themselves that the striving after English 
happiness, I mean after COMFORT and FASHION (and in the highest instance, a seat in Parliament), is at the 
same time the true path of virtue; in fact, that in so far as there has been virtue in the world hitherto, it has just 
consisted in such striving. Not one of those ponderous, conscience-stricken herding-animals (who undertake 
to advocate the cause of egoism as conducive to the general welfare) wants to have any knowledge or inkling 
of the facts that the "general welfare" is no ideal, no goal, no notion that can be at all grasped, but is only a 
nostrum, — that what is fair to one MAY NOT at all be fair to another, that the requirement of one morality for 
all is really a detriment to higher men, in short, that there is a DISTINCTION OF RANK between man and 
man, and consequently between morality and morality. They are an unassuming and fundamentally mediocre 
species of men, these utilitarian Englishmen, and, as already remarked, in so far as they are tedious, one 
cannot think highly enough of their utility. One ought even to ENCOURAGE them, as has been partially 
attempted in the following rhymes: — 

Hail, ye worthies, barrow-wheeling, 
"Longer — better," aye revealing, 

Stiffer aye in head and knee; 
Unenraptured, never jesting, 
Mediocre everlasting, 


229. In these later ages, which may be proud of their humanity, there still remains so much fear, so much 
SUPERSTITION of the fear, of the "cruel wild beast," the mastering of which constitutes the very pride of 
these humaner ages — that even obvious truths, as if by the agreement of centuries, have long remained 
unuttered, because they have the appearance of helping the finally slain wild beast back to life again. I perhaps 


Beyond Good and Evil 

risk something when I allow such a truth to escape; let others capture it again and give it so much "milk of 
pious sentiment" [FOOTNOTE: An expression from Schiller's William Tell, Act IV, Scene 3.] to drink, that it 
will lie down quiet and forgotten, in its old corner. — One ought to learn anew about cruelty, and open one's 
eyes; one ought at last to learn impatience, in order that such immodest gross errors — as, for instance, have 
been fostered by ancient and modern philosophers with regard to tragedy — may no longer wander about 
virtuously and boldly. Almost everything that we call "higher culture" is based upon the spiritualising and 
intensifying of CRUELTY — this is my thesis; the "wild beast" has not been slain at all, it lives, it flourishes, it 
has only been — transfigured. That which constitutes the painful delight of tragedy is cruelty; that which 
operates agreeably in so-called tragic sympathy, and at the basis even of everything sublime, up to the highest 
and most delicate thrills of metaphysics, obtains its sweetness solely from the intermingled ingredient of 
cruelty. What the Roman enjoys in the arena, the Christian in the ecstasies of the cross, the Spaniard at the 
sight of the faggot and stake, or of the bull-fight, the present-day Japanese who presses his way to the 
tragedy, the workman of the Parisian suburbs who has a homesickness for bloody revolutions, the 
Wagnerienne who, with unhinged will, "undergoes" the performance of "Tristan and Isolde" — what all these 
enjoy, and strive with mysterious ardour to drink in, is the philtre of the great Circe "cruelty." Here, to be 
sure, we must put aside entirely the blundering psychology of former times, which could only teach with 
regard to cruelty that it originated at the sight of the suffering of OTHERS : there is an abundant, 
super-abundant enjoyment even in one's own suffering, in causing one's own suffering — and wherever man 
has allowed himself to be persuaded to self-denial in the RELIGIOUS sense, or to self-mutilation, as among 
the Phoenicians and ascetics, or in general, to desensualisation, decarnalisation, and contrition, to Puritanical 
repentance-spasms, to vivisection of conscience and to Pascal- like SACRIFIZIA DELL' INTELLETO, he is 
secretly allured and impelled forwards by his cruelty, by the dangerous thrill of cruelty TOWARDS 
HIMSELF. — Finally, let us consider that even the seeker of knowledge operates as an artist and glorifier of 
cruelty, in that he compels his spirit to perceive AGAINST its own inclination, and often enough against the 
wishes of his heart: — he forces it to say Nay, where he would like to affirm, love, and adore; indeed, every 
instance of taking a thing profoundly and fundamentally, is a violation, an intentional injuring of the 
fundamental will of the spirit, which instinctively aims at appearance and superficiality, — even in every desire 
for knowledge there is a drop of cruelty. 

230. Perhaps what I have said here about a "fundamental will of the spirit" may not be understood without 
further details; I may be allowed a word of explanation. — That imperious something which is popularly called 
"the spirit," wishes to be master internally and externally, and to feel itself master; it has the will of a 
multiplicity for a simplicity, a binding, taming, imperious, and essentially ruling will. Its requirements and 
capacities here, are the same as those assigned by physiologists to everything that lives, grows, and multiplies. 
The power of the spirit to appropriate foreign elements reveals itself in a strong tendency to assimilate the new 
to the old, to simplify the manifold, to overlook or repudiate the absolutely contradictory; just as it arbitrarily 
re-underlines, makes prominent, and falsifies for itself certain traits and lines in the foreign elements, in every 
portion of the "outside world." Its object thereby is the incorporation of new "experiences," the assortment of 
new things in the old arrangements — in short, growth; or more properly, the FEELING of growth, the feeling 
of increased power — is its object. This same will has at its service an apparently opposed impulse of the spirit, 
a suddenly adopted preference of ignorance, of arbitrary shutting out, a closing of windows, an inner denial of 
this or that, a prohibition to approach, a sort of defensive attitude against much that is knowable, a 
contentment with obscurity, with the shutting-in horizon, an acceptance and approval of ignorance: as that 
which is all necessary according to the degree of its appropriating power, its "digestive power," to speak 
figuratively (and in fact "the spirit" resembles a stomach more than anything else). Here also belong an 
occasional propensity of the spirit to let itself be deceived (perhaps with a waggish suspicion that it is NOT so 
and so, but is only allowed to pass as such), a delight in uncertainty and ambiguity, an exulting enjoyment of 
arbitrary, out-of-the-way narrowness and mystery, of the too-near, of the foreground, of the magnified, the 
diminished, the misshapen, the beautified — an enjoyment of the arbitrariness of all these manifestations of 
power. Finally, in this connection, there is the not unscrupulous readiness of the spirit to deceive other spirits 
and dissemble before them — the constant pressing and straining of a creating, shaping, changeable power: the 


Beyond Good and Evil 

spirit enjoys therein its craftiness and its variety of disguises, it enjoys also its feeling of security therein — it is 
precisely by its Protean arts that it is best protected and concealed! — COUNTER TO this propensity for 
appearance, for simplification, for a disguise, for a cloak, in short, for an outside — for every outside is a 
cloak — there operates the sublime tendency of the man of knowledge, which takes, and INSISTS on taking 
things profoundly, variously, and thoroughly; as a kind of cruelty of the intellectual conscience and taste, 
which every courageous thinker will acknowledge in himself, provided, as it ought to be, that he has 
sharpened and hardened his eye sufficiently long for introspection, and is accustomed to severe discipline and 
even severe words. He will say: "There is something cruel in the tendency of my spirit": let the virtuous and 
amiable try to convince him that it is not so! In fact, it would sound nicer, if, instead of our cruelty, perhaps 
our "extravagant honesty" were talked about, whispered about, and glorified — we free, VERY free 
spirits — and some day perhaps SUCH will actually be our — posthumous glory ! Meanwhile — for there is 
plenty of time until then — we should be least inclined to deck ourselves out in such florid and fringed moral 
verbiage; our whole former work has just made us sick of this taste and its sprightly exuberance. They are 
beautiful, glistening, jingling, festive words: honesty, love of truth, love of wisdom, sacrifice for knowledge, 
heroism of the truthful — there is something in them that makes one's heart swell with pride. But we 
anchorites and marmots have long ago persuaded ourselves in all the secrecy of an anchorite's conscience, that 
this worthy parade of verbiage also belongs to the old false adornment, frippery, and gold-dust of 
unconscious human vanity, and that even under such flattering colour and repainting, the terrible original text 
HOMO NATURA must again be recognized. In effect, to translate man back again into nature; to master the 
many vain and visionary interpretations and subordinate meanings which have hitherto been scratched and 
daubed over the eternal original text, HOMO NATURA; to bring it about that man shall henceforth stand 
before man as he now, hardened by the discipline of science, stands before the OTHER forms of nature, with 
fearless Oedipus-eyes, and stopped Ulysses-ears, deaf to the enticements of old metaphysical bird-catchers, 
who have piped to him far too long: "Thou art more! thou art higher! thou hast a different origin!" — this may 
be a strange and foolish task, but that it is a TASK, who can deny! Why did we choose it, this foolish task? 
Or, to put the question differently: "Why knowledge at all?" Every one will ask us about this. And thus 
pressed, we, who have asked ourselves the question a hundred times, have not found and cannot find any 
better answer. . . . 

23 1 . Learning alters us, it does what all nourishment does that does not merely "conserve" — as the 
physiologist knows. But at the bottom of our souls, quite "down below," there is certainly something 
unteachable, a granite of spiritual fate, of predetermined decision and answer to predetermined, chosen 
questions. In each cardinal problem there speaks an unchangeable "I am this"; a thinker cannot learn anew 
about man and woman, for instance, but can only learn fully — he can only follow to the end what is "fixed" 
about them in himself. Occasionally we find certain solutions of problems which make strong beliefs for us; 
perhaps they are henceforth called "convictions." Later on — one sees in them only footsteps to 
self-knowledge, guide-posts to the problem which we ourselves ARE — or more correctly to the great 
stupidity which we embody, our spiritual fate, the UNTEACHABLE in us, quite "down below." — In view of 
this liberal compliment which I have just paid myself, permission will perhaps be more readily allowed me to 
utter some truths about "woman as she is," provided that it is known at the outset how literally they are 
merely — MY truths. 

232. Woman wishes to be independent, and therefore she begins to enlighten men about "woman as she 
is" — THIS is one of the worst developments of the general UGLIFYING of Europe. For what must these 
clumsy attempts of feminine scientificality and self- exposure bring to light! Woman has so much cause for 
shame; in woman there is so much pedantry, superficiality, schoolmasterliness, petty presumption, 
unbridledness, and indiscretion concealed — study only woman's behaviour towards children! — which has 
really been best restrained and dominated hitherto by the FEAR of man. Alas, if ever the "eternally tedious in 
woman" — she has plenty of it! — is allowed to venture forth! if she begins radically and on principle to unlearn 
her wisdom and art-of charming, of playing, of frightening away sorrow, of alleviating and taking easily; if 
she forgets her delicate aptitude for agreeable desires! Female voices are already raised, which, by Saint 


Beyond Good and Evil 

Aristophanes! make one afraid: — with medical explicitness it is stated in a threatening manner what woman 
first and last REQUIRES from man. Is it not in the very worst taste that woman thus sets herself up to be 
scientific? Enlightenment hitherto has fortunately been men's affair, men's gift-we remained therewith 
"among ourselves"; and in the end, in view of all that women write about "woman," we may well have 
considerable doubt as to whether woman really DESIRES enlightenment about herself — and CAN desire it. If 
woman does not thereby seek a new ORNAMENT for herself — I believe ornamentation belongs to the 
eternally feminine? — why, then, she wishes to make herself feared: perhaps she thereby wishes to get the 
mastery. But she does not want truth — what does woman care for truth? From the very first, nothing is more 
foreign, more repugnant, or more hostile to woman than truth — her great art is falsehood, her chief concern is 
appearance and beauty. Let us confess it, we men: we honour and love this very art and this very instinct in 
woman: we who have the hard task, and for our recreation gladly seek the company of beings under whose 
hands, glances, and delicate follies, our seriousness, our gravity, and profundity appear almost like follies to 
us. Finally, I ask the question: Did a woman herself ever acknowledge profundity in a woman's mind, or 
justice in a woman's heart? And is it not true that on the whole "woman" has hitherto been most despised by 
woman herself, and not at all by us? — We men desire that woman should not continue to compromise herself 
by enlightening us; just as it was man's care and the consideration for woman, when the church decreed: 
mulier taceat in ecclesia. It was to the benefit of woman when Napoleon gave the too eloquent Madame de 
Stael to understand: mulier taceat in politicis! — and in my opinion, he is a true friend of woman who calls out 
to women today: mulier taceat de mulierel. 

233. It betrays corruption of the instincts — apart from the fact that it betrays bad taste — when a woman refers 
to Madame Roland, or Madame de Stael, or Monsieur George Sand, as though something were proved 
thereby in favour of "woman as she is." Among men, these are the three comical women as they are — nothing 
more! — and just the best involuntary counter- arguments against feminine emancipation and autonomy. 

234. Stupidity in the kitchen; woman as cook; the terrible thoughtlessness with which the feeding of the 
family and the master of the house is managed! Woman does not understand what food means, and she insists 
on being cook! If woman had been a thinking creature, she should certainly, as cook for thousands of years, 
have discovered the most important physiological facts, and should likewise have got possession of the 
healing art! Through bad female cooks — through the entire lack of reason in the kitchen — the development of 
mankind has been longest retarded and most interfered with: even today matters are very little better. A word 
to High School girls. 

235. There are turns and casts of fancy, there are sentences, little handfuls of words, in which a whole culture, 
a whole society suddenly crystallises itself. Among these is the incidental remark of Madame de Lambert to 
GRAND PLAISIR" — the motherliest and wisest remark, by the way, that was ever addressed to a son. 

236. 1 have no doubt that every noble woman will oppose what Dante and Goethe believed about woman — the 
former when he sang, "ELLA GUARDAVA SUSO, ED 10 IN LEI," and the latter when he interpreted it, "the 
eternally feminine draws us ALOFT"; for THIS is just what she believes of the eternally masculine. 



How the longest ennui flees, When a man comes to our knees! 

Age, alas ! and science staid, Furnish even weak virtue aid. 

Sombre garb and silence meet: Dress for every dame — discreet. 


Beyond Good and Evil 
Whom I thank when in my bliss? God! — and my good tailoress! 

Young, a flower-decked cavern home; Old, a dragon thence doth roam. 

Noble title, leg that's fine, Man as well: Oh, were HE mine! 

Speech in brief and sense in mass — Slippery for the jenny-ass! 

237A. Woman has hitherto been treated by men like birds, which, losing their way, have come down among 

them from an elevation: as something delicate, fragile, wild, strange, sweet, and animating but as 

something also which must be cooped up to prevent it flying away. 

238. To be mistaken in the fundamental problem of "man and woman," to deny here the profoundest 
antagonism and the necessity for an eternally hostile tension, to dream here perhaps of equal rights, equal 
training, equal claims and obligations: that is a TYPICAL sign of shallow -mindedness; and a thinker who has 
proved himself shallow at this dangerous spot — shallow in instinct! — may generally be regarded as 
suspicious, nay more, as betrayed, as discovered; he will probably prove too "short" for all fundamental 
questions of life, future as well as present, and will be unable to descend into ANY of the depths. On the other 
hand, a man who has depth of spirit as well as of desires, and has also the depth of benevolence which is 
capable of severity and harshness, and easily confounded with them, can only think of woman as 
ORIENTALS do: he must conceive of her as a possession, as confinable property, as a being predestined for 
service and accomplishing her mission therein — he must take his stand in this matter upon the immense 
rationality of Asia, upon the superiority of the instinct of Asia, as the Greeks did formerly; those best heirs 
and scholars of Asia — who, as is well known, with their INCREASING culture and amplitude of power, from 
Homer to the time of Pericles, became gradually STRICTER towards woman, in short, more Oriental. HOW 
necessary, HOW logical, even HOW humanely desirable this was, let us consider for ourselves! 

239. The weaker sex has in no previous age been treated with so much respect by men as at present — this 
belongs to the tendency and fundamental taste of democracy, in the same way as disrespectfulness to old 

age — what wonder is it that abuse should be immediately made of this respect? They want more, they learn to 
make claims, the tribute of respect is at last felt to be well-nigh galling; rivalry for rights, indeed actual strife 
itself, would be preferred: in a word, woman is losing modesty. And let us immediately add that she is also 
losing taste. She is unlearning to FEAR man: but the woman who "unlearns to fear" sacrifices her most 
womanly instincts. That woman should venture forward when the fear-inspiring quality in man — or more 
definitely, the MAN in man — is no longer either desired or fully developed, is reasonable enough and also 
intelligible enough; what is more difficult to understand is that precisely thereby — woman deteriorates. This 
is what is happening nowadays: let us not deceive ourselves about it! Wherever the industrial spirit has 
triumphed over the military and aristocratic spirit, woman strives for the economic and legal independence of 
a clerk: "woman as clerkess" is inscribed on the portal of the modern society which is in course of formation. 
While she thus appropriates new rights, aspires to be "master," and inscribes "progress" of woman on her 
flags and banners, the very opposite realises itself with terrible obviousness: WOMAN RETROGRADES. 
Since the French Revolution the influence of woman in Europe has DECLINED in proportion as she has 
increased her rights and claims; and the "emancipation of woman," insofar as it is desired and demanded by 
women themselves (and not only by masculine shallow-pates), thus proves to be a remarkable symptom of 
the increased weakening and deadening of the most womanly instincts. There is STUPIDITY in this 
movement, an almost masculine stupidity, of which a well-reared woman — who is always a sensible 
woman — might be heartily ashamed. To lose the intuition as to the ground upon which she can most surely 
achieve victory; to neglect exercise in the use of her proper weapons; to let-herself-go before man, perhaps 
even "to the book," where formerly she kept herself in control and in refined, artful humility; to neutralize 
with her virtuous audacity man's faith in a VEILED, fundamentally different ideal in woman, something 
eternally, necessarily feminine; to emphatically and loquaciously dissuade man from the idea that woman 


Beyond Good and Evil 

must be preserved, cared for, protected, and indulged, like some delicate, strangely wild, and often pleasant 
domestic animal; the clumsy and indignant collection of everything of the nature of servitude and bondage 
which the position of woman in the hitherto existing order of society has entailed and still entails (as though 
slavery were a counter- argument, and not rather a condition of every higher culture, of every elevation of 
culture): — what does all this betoken, if not a disintegration of womanly instincts, a defeminising? Certainly, 
there are enough of idiotic friends and corrupters of woman among the learned asses of the masculine sex, 
who advise woman to defeminize herself in this manner, and to imitate all the stupidities from which "man" in 
Europe, European "manliness," suffers, — who would like to lower woman to "general culture," indeed even to 
newspaper reading and meddling with politics. Here and there they wish even to make women into free spirits 
and literary workers: as though a woman without piety would not be something perfectly obnoxious or 
ludicrous to a profound and godless man; — almost everywhere her nerves are being ruined by the most 
morbid and dangerous kind of music (our latest German music), and she is daily being made more hysterical 
and more incapable of fulfilling her first and last function, that of bearing robust children. They wish to 
"cultivate" her in general still more, and intend, as they say, to make the "weaker sex" STRONG by culture: 
as if history did not teach in the most emphatic manner that the "cultivating" of mankind and his 
weakening — that is to say, the weakening, dissipating, and languishing of his FORCE OF WILL — have 
always kept pace with one another, and that the most powerful and influential women in the world (and lastly, 
the mother of Napoleon) had just to thank their force of will — and not their schoolmasters — for their power 
and ascendancy over men. That which inspires respect in woman, and often enough fear also, is her 
NATURE, which is more "natural" than that of man, her genuine, carnivora-like, cunning flexibility, her 
tiger-claws beneath the glove, her NAIVETE in egoism, her untrainableness and innate wildness, the 
incomprehensibleness, extent, and deviation of her desires and virtues. That which, in spite of fear, excites 
one's sympathy for the dangerous and beautiful cat, "woman," is that she seems more afflicted, more 
vulnerable, more necessitous of love, and more condemned to disillusionment than any other creature. Fear 
and sympathy it is with these feelings that man has hitherto stood in the presence of woman, always with one 
foot already in tragedy, which rends while it delights — What? And all that is now to be at an end? And the 
DISENCHANTMENT of woman is in progress? The tediousness of woman is slowly evolving? Oh Europe! 
Europe! We know the horned animal which was always most attractive to thee, from which danger is ever 
again threatening thee! Thy old fable might once more become "history" — an immense stupidity might once 
again overmaster thee and carry thee away ! And no God concealed beneath it — no ! only an "idea," a "modern 


240. 1 HEARD, once again for the first time, Richard Wagner's overture to the Mastersinger: it is a piece of 
magnificent, gorgeous, heavy, latter-day art, which has the pride to presuppose two centuries of music as still 
living, in order that it may be understood: — it is an honour to Germans that such a pride did not miscalculate! 
What flavours and forces, what seasons and climes do we not find mingled in it! It impresses us at one time as 
ancient, at another time as foreign, bitter, and too modern, it is as arbitrary as it is pompously traditional, it is 
not infrequently roguish, still oftener rough and coarse — it has fire and courage, and at the same time the 
loose, dun-coloured skin of fruits which ripen too late. It flows broad and full: and suddenly there is a 
moment of inexplicable hesitation, like a gap that opens between cause and effect, an oppression that makes 
us dream, almost a nightmare; but already it broadens and widens anew, the old stream of delight-the most 
manifold delight, — of old and new happiness; including ESPECIALLY the joy of the artist in himself, which 
he refuses to conceal, his astonished, happy cognizance of his mastery of the expedients here employed, the 
new, newly acquired, imperfectly tested expedients of art which he apparently betrays to us. All in all, 
however, no beauty, no South, nothing of the delicate southern clearness of the sky, nothing of grace, no 
dance, hardly a will to logic; a certain clumsiness even, which is also emphasized, as though the artist wished 
to say to us: "It is part of my intention"; a cumbersome drapery, something arbitrarily barbaric and 
ceremonious, a flirring of learned and venerable conceits and witticisms; something German in the best and 
worst sense of the word, something in the German style, manifold, formless, and inexhaustible; a certain 


Beyond Good and Evil 

German potency and super-plenitude of soul, which is not afraid to hide itself under the RAFFINEMENTS of 
decadence — which, perhaps, feels itself most at ease there; a real, genuine token of the German soul, which is 
at the same time young and aged, too ripe and yet still too rich in futurity. This kind of music expresses best 
what I think of the Germans: they belong to the day before yesterday and the day after tomorrow — THEY 

241. We "good Europeans," we also have hours when we allow ourselves a warm-hearted patriotism, a 
plunge and relapse into old loves and narrow views — I have just given an example of it — hours of national 
excitement, of patriotic anguish, and all other sorts of old-fashioned floods of sentiment. Duller spirits may 
perhaps only get done with what confines its operations in us to hours and plays itself out in hours — in a 
considerable time: some in half a year, others in half a lifetime, according to the speed and strength with 
which they digest and "change their material." Indeed, I could think of sluggish, hesitating races, which even 
in our rapidly moving Europe, would require half a century ere they could surmount such atavistic attacks of 
patriotism and soil-attachment, and return once more to reason, that is to say, to "good Europeanism." And 
while digressing on this possibility, I happen to become an ear-witness of a conversation between two old 
patriots — they were evidently both hard of hearing and consequently spoke all the louder. "HE has as much, 
and knows as much, philosophy as a peasant or a corps-student," said the one — "he is still innocent. But 
what does that matter nowadays! It is the age of the masses: they lie on their belly before everything that is 
massive. And so also in politicis. A statesman who rears up for them a new Tower of Babel, some monstrosity 
of empire and power, they call 'great' — what does it matter that we more prudent and conservative ones do not 
meanwhile give up the old belief that it is only the great thought that gives greatness to an action or affair. 
Supposing a statesman were to bring his people into the position of being obliged henceforth to practise 'high 
politics,' for which they were by nature badly endowed and prepared, so that they would have to sacrifice their 
old and reliable virtues, out of love to a new and doubtful mediocrity; — supposing a statesman were to 
condemn his people generally to 'practise politics,' when they have hitherto had something better to do and 
think about, and when in the depths of their souls they have been unable to free themselves from a prudent 
loathing of the restlessness, emptiness, and noisy wranglings of the essentially politics-practising 

nations; — supposing such a statesman were to stimulate the slumbering passions and avidities of his people, 
were to make a stigma out of their former diffidence and delight in aloofness, an offence out of their exoticism 
and hidden permanency, were to depreciate their most radical proclivities, subvert their consciences, make 
their minds narrow, and their tastes 'national' — what! a statesman who should do all this, which his people 
would have to do penance for throughout their whole future, if they had a future, such a statesman would be 
GREAT, would he?" — "Undoubtedly!" replied the other old patriot vehemently, "otherwise he COULD NOT 
have done it! It was mad perhaps to wish such a thing! But perhaps everything great has been just as mad at its 
commencement!" — "Misuse of words!" cried his interlocutor, contradictorily — "strong! strong! Strong and 
mad! NOT great!" — The old men had obviously become heated as they thus shouted their "truths" in each 
other's faces, but I, in my happiness and apartness, considered how soon a stronger one may become master of 
the strong, and also that there is a compensation for the intellectual superficialising of a nation — namely, in 
the deepening of another. 

242. Whether we call it "civilization," or "humanising," or "progress," which now distinguishes the European, 
whether we call it simply, without praise or blame, by the political formula the DEMOCRATIC movement in 
Europe — behind all the moral and political foregrounds pointed to by such formulas, an immense 
PHYSIOLOGICAL PROCESS goes on, which is ever extending the process of the assimilation of Europeans, 
their increasing detachment from the conditions under which, climatically and hereditarily, united races 
originate, their increasing independence of every definite milieu, that for centuries would fain inscribe itself 
with equal demands on soul and body, — that is to say, the slow emergence of an essentially 
SUPER-NATIONAL and nomadic species of man, who possesses, physiologically speaking, a maximum of 
the art and power of adaptation as his typical distinction. This process of the EVOLVING EUROPEAN, 
which can be retarded in its TEMPO by great relapses, but will perhaps just gain and grow thereby in 
vehemence and depth — the still-raging storm and stress of "national sentiment" pertains to it, and also the 


Beyond Good and Evil 

anarchism which is appearing at present — this process will probably arrive at results on which its naive 
propagators and panegyrists, the apostles of "modern ideas," would least care to reckon. The same new 
conditions under which on an average a levelling and mediocrising of man will take place — a useful, 
industrious, variously serviceable, and clever gregarious man — are in the highest degree suitable to give rise 
to exceptional men of the most dangerous and attractive qualities. For, while the capacity for adaptation, 
which is every day trying changing conditions, and begins a new work with every generation, almost with 
every decade, makes the POWERFULNESS of the type impossible; while the collective impression of such 
future Europeans will probably be that of numerous, talkative, weak-willed, and very handy workmen who 
REQUIRE a master, a commander, as they require their daily bread; while, therefore, the democratising of 
Europe will tend to the production of a type prepared for SLAVERY in the most subtle sense of the term: the 
STRONG man will necessarily in individual and exceptional cases, become stronger and richer than he has 
perhaps ever been before — owing to the unprejudicedness of his schooling, owing to the immense variety of 
practice, art, and disguise. I meant to say that the democratising of Europe is at the same time an involuntary 
arrangement for the rearing of TYRANTS — taking the word in all its meanings, even in its most spiritual 

243. 1 hear with pleasure that our sun is moving rapidly towards the constellation Hercules: and I hope that the 
men on this earth will do like the sun. And we foremost, we good Europeans ! 

244. There was a time when it was customary to call Germans "deep" by way of distinction; but now that the 
most successful type of new Germanism is covetous of quite other honours, and perhaps misses "smartness" 
in all that has depth, it is almost opportune and patriotic to doubt whether we did not formerly deceive 
ourselves with that commendation: in short, whether German depth is not at bottom something different and 
worse — and something from which, thank God, we are on the point of successfully ridding ourselves. Let us 
try, then, to relearn with regard to German depth; the only thing necessary for the purpose is a little 
vivisection of the German soul. — The German soul is above all manifold, varied in its source, aggregated and 
super- imposed, rather than actually built: this is owing to its origin. A German who would embolden himself 
to assert: "Two souls, alas, dwell in my breast," would make a bad guess at the truth, or, more correctly, he 
would come far short of the truth about the number of souls. As a people made up of the most extraordinary 
mixing and mingling of races, perhaps even with a preponderance of the pre- Aryan element as the "people of 
the centre" in every sense of the term, the Germans are more intangible, more ample, more contradictory, 
more unknown, more incalculable, more surprising, and even more terrifying than other peoples are to 
themselves: — they escape DEFINITION, and are thereby alone the despair of the French. It IS characteristic 
of the Germans that the question: "What is German?" never dies out among them. Kotzebue certainly knew 
his Germans well enough: "We are known," they cried jubilantly to him — but Sand also thought he knew 
them. Jean Paul knew what he was doing when he declared himself incensed at Fichte's lying but patriotic 
flatteries and exaggerations, — but it is probable that Goethe thought differently about Germans from Jean 
Paul, even though he acknowledged him to be right with regard to Fichte. It is a question what Goethe really 
thought about the Germans? — But about many things around him he never spoke explicitly, and all his life he 
knew how to keep an astute silence — probably he had good reason for it. It is certain that it was not the "Wars 
of Independence" that made him look up more joyfully, any more than it was the French Revolution, — the 
event on account of which he RECONSTRUCTED his "Faust," and indeed the whole problem of "man," was 
the appearance of Napoleon. There are words of Goethe in which he condemns with impatient severity, as 
from a foreign land, that which Germans take a pride in, he once defined the famous German turn of mind as 
"Indulgence towards its own and others' weaknesses." Was he wrong? it is characteristic of Germans that one 
is seldom entirely wrong about them. The German soul has passages and galleries in it, there are caves, 
hiding- places, and dungeons therein, its disorder has much of the charm of the mysterious, the German is 
well acquainted with the bypaths to chaos. And as everything loves its symbol, so the German loves the 
clouds and all that is obscure, evolving, crepuscular, damp, and shrouded, it seems to him that everything 
uncertain, undeveloped, self-displacing, and growing is "deep". The German himself does not EXIST, he is 
BECOMING, he is "developing himself. "Development" is therefore the essentially German discovery and 


Beyond Good and Evil 

hit in the great domain of philosophical formulas, — a ruling idea, which, together with German beer and 
German music, is labouring to Germanise all Europe. Foreigners are astonished and attracted by the riddles 
which the conflicting nature at the basis of the German soul propounds to them (riddles which Hegel 
systematised and Richard Wagner has in the end set to music). "Good-natured and spiteful" — such a 
juxtaposition, preposterous in the case of every other people, is unfortunately only too often justified in 
Germany one has only to live for a while among Swabians to know this! The clumsiness of the German 
scholar and his social distastefulness agree alarmingly well with his physical rope-dancing and nimble 
boldness, of which all the Gods have learnt to be afraid. If any one wishes to see the "German soul" 
demonstrated ad oculos, let him only look at German taste, at German arts and manners what boorish 
indifference to "taste"! How the noblest and the commonest stand there in juxtaposition! How disorderly and 
how rich is the whole constitution of this soul! The German DRAGS at his soul, he drags at everything he 
experiences. He digests his events badly; he never gets "done" with them; and German depth is often only a 
difficult, hesitating "digestion." And just as all chronic invalids, all dyspeptics like what is convenient, so the 
German loves "frankness" and "honesty"; it is so CONVENIENT to be frank and honest! — This 
confidingness, this complaisance, this showing-the-cards of German HONESTY, is probably the most 
dangerous and most successful disguise which the German is up to nowadays: it is his proper 
Mephistophelean art; with this he can "still achieve much"! The German lets himself go, and thereby gazes 
with faithful, blue, empty German eyes — and other countries immediately confound him with his 
dressing-gown! — I meant to say that, let "German depth" be what it will — among ourselves alone we perhaps 
take the liberty to laugh at it — we shall do well to continue henceforth to honour its appearance and good 
name, and not barter away too cheaply our old reputation as a people of depth for Prussian "smartness," and 
Berlin wit and sand. It is wise for a people to pose, and LET itself be regarded, as profound, clumsy, 
good-natured, honest, and foolish: it might even be — profound to do so! Finally, we should do honour to our 
name — we are not called the "TIUSCHE VOLK" (deceptive people) for nothing. . . . 

245. The "good old" time is past, it sang itself out in Mozart — how happy are WE that his ROCOCO still 
speaks to us, that his "good company," his tender enthusiasm, his childish delight in the Chinese and its 
flourishes, his courtesy of heart, his longing for the elegant, the amorous, the tripping, the tearful, and his 
belief in the South, can still appeal to SOMETHING LEFT in us! Ah, some time or other it will be over with 
it! — but who can doubt that it will be over still sooner with the intelligence and taste for Beethoven! For he 
was only the last echo of a break and transition in style, and NOT, like Mozart, the last echo of a great 
European taste which had existed for centuries. Beethoven is the intermediate event between an old mellow 
soul that is constantly breaking down, and a future over-young soul that is always COMING; there is spread 
over his music the twilight of eternal loss and eternal extravagant hope, — the same light in which Europe was 
bathed when it dreamed with Rousseau, when it danced round the Tree of Liberty of the Revolution, and 
finally almost fell down in adoration before Napoleon. But how rapidly does THIS very sentiment now pale, 
how difficult nowadays is even the APPREHENSION of this sentiment, how strangely does the language of 
Rousseau, Schiller, Shelley, and Byron sound to our ear, in whom COLLECTIVELY the same fate of Europe 
was able to SPEAK, which knew how to SING in Beethoven! — Whatever German music came afterwards, 
belongs to Romanticism, that is to say, to a movement which, historically considered, was still shorter, more 
fleeting, and more superficial than that great interlude, the transition of Europe from Rousseau to Napoleon, 
and to the rise of democracy. Weber — but what do WE care nowadays for "Freischutz" and "Oberon"! Or 
Marschner's "Hans Heiling" and "Vampyre"! Or even Wagner's "Tannhauser" ! That is extinct, although not 
yet forgotten music. This whole music of Romanticism, besides, was not noble enough, was not musical 
enough, to maintain its position anywhere but in the theatre and before the masses; from the beginning it was 
second-rate music, which was little thought of by genuine musicians. It was different with Felix 
Mendelssohn, that halcyon master, who, on account of his lighter, purer, happier soul, quickly acquired 
admiration, and was equally quickly forgotten: as the beautiful EPISODE of German music. But with regard 
to Robert Schumann, who took things seriously, and has been taken seriously from the first — he was the last 
that founded a school, — do we not now regard it as a satisfaction, a relief, a deliverance, that this very 
Romanticism of Schumann's has been surmounted? Schumann, fleeing into the "Saxon Switzerland" of his 


Beyond Good and Evil 

soul, with a half Werther-like, half Jean-Paul-like nature (assuredly not like Beethoven! assuredly not like 
Byron!) — his MANFRED music is a mistake and a misunderstanding to the extent of injustice; Schumann, 
with his taste, which was fundamentally a PETTY taste (that is to say, a dangerous propensity — doubly 
dangerous among Germans — for quiet lyricism and intoxication of the feelings), going constantly apart, 
timidly withdrawing and retiring, a noble weakling who revelled in nothing but anonymous joy and sorrow, 
from the beginning a sort of girl and NOLI ME TANGERE — this Schumann was already merely a GERMAN 
event in music, and no longer a European event, as Beethoven had been, as in a still greater degree Mozart 
had been; with Schumann German music was threatened with its greatest danger, that of LOSING THE 
VOICE FOR THE SOUL OF EUROPE and sinking into a merely national affair. 

246. What a torture are books written in German to a reader who has a THIRD ear! How indignantly he stands 
beside the slowly turning swamp of sounds without tune and rhythms without dance, which Germans call a 
"book"! And even the German who READS books! How lazily, how reluctantly, how badly he reads! How 
many Germans know, and consider it obligatory to know, that there is ART in every good sentence — art 
which must be divined, if the sentence is to be understood! If there is a misunderstanding about its TEMPO, 
for instance, the sentence itself is misunderstood! That one must not be doubtful about the 
rhythm-determining syllables, that one should feel the breaking of the too-rigid symmetry as intentional and 
as a charm, that one should lend a fine and patient ear to every STACCATO and every RUBATO, that one 
should divine the sense in the sequence of the vowels and diphthongs, and how delicately and richly they can 
be tinted and retinted in the order of their arrangement — who among book-reading Germans is complaisant 
enough to recognize such duties and requirements, and to listen to so much art and intention in language? 
After all, one just "has no ear for it"; and so the most marked contrasts of style are not heard, and the most 
delicate artistry is as it were SQUANDERED on the deaf. — These were my thoughts when I noticed how 
clumsily and unintuitively two masters in the art of prose- writing have been confounded: one, whose words 
drop down hesitatingly and coldly, as from the roof of a damp cave — he counts on their dull sound and echo; 
and another who manipulates his language like a flexible sword, and from his arm down into his toes feels the 
dangerous bliss of the quivering, over-sharp blade, which wishes to bite, hiss, and cut. 

247. How little the German style has to do with harmony and with the ear, is shown by the fact that precisely 
our good musicians themselves write badly. The German does not read aloud, he does not read for the ear, but 
only with his eyes; he has put his ears away in the drawer for the time. In antiquity when a man read — which 
was seldom enough — he read something to himself, and in a loud voice; they were surprised when any one 
read silently, and sought secretly the reason of it. In a loud voice: that is to say, with all the swellings, 
inflections, and variations of key and changes of TEMPO, in which the ancient PUBLIC world took delight. 
The laws of the written style were then the same as those of the spoken style; and these laws depended partly 
on the surprising development and refined requirements of the ear and larynx; partly on the strength, 
endurance, and power of the ancient lungs. In the ancient sense, a period is above all a physiological whole, 
inasmuch as it is comprised in one breath. Such periods as occur in Demosthenes and Cicero, swelling twice 
and sinking twice, and all in one breath, were pleasures to the men of ANTIQUITY, who knew by their own 
schooling how to appreciate the virtue therein, the rareness and the difficulty in the deliverance of such a 
period; — WE have really no right to the BIG period, we modern men, who are short of breath in every sense! 
Those ancients, indeed, were all of them dilettanti in speaking, consequently connoisseurs, consequently 
critics — they thus brought their orators to the highest pitch; in the same manner as in the last century, when all 
Italian ladies and gentlemen knew how to sing, the virtuosoship of song (and with it also the art of melody) 
reached its elevation. In Germany, however (until quite recently when a kind of platform eloquence began 
shyly and awkwardly enough to flutter its young wings), there was properly speaking only one kind of public 
and APPROXIMATELY artistical discourse — that delivered from the pulpit. The preacher was the only one 
in Germany who knew the weight of a syllable or a word, in what manner a sentence strikes, springs, rushes, 
flows, and comes to a close; he alone had a conscience in his ears, often enough a bad conscience: for reasons 
are not lacking why proficiency in oratory should be especially seldom attained by a German, or almost 
always too late. The masterpiece of German prose is therefore with good reason the masterpiece of its greatest 


Beyond Good and Evil 

preacher: the BIBLE has hitherto been the best German book. Compared with Luther's Bible, almost 
everything else is merely "literature" — something which has not grown in Germany, and therefore has not 
taken and does not take root in German hearts, as the Bible has done. 

248. There are two kinds of geniuses: one which above all engenders and seeks to engender, and another 
which willingly lets itself be fructified and brings forth. And similarly, among the gifted nations, there are 
those on whom the woman's problem of pregnancy has devolved, and the secret task of forming, maturing, 
and perfecting — the Greeks, for instance, were a nation of this kind, and so are the French; and others which 
have to fructify and become the cause of new modes of life — like the Jews, the Romans, and, in all modesty 
be it asked: like the Germans? — nations tortured and enraptured by unknown fevers and irresistibly forced 
out of themselves, amorous and longing for foreign races (for such as "let themselves be fructified"), and 
withal imperious, like everything conscious of being full of generative force, and consequently empowered 
"by the grace of God." These two kinds of geniuses seek each other like man and woman; but they also 
misunderstand each other — like man and woman. 

249. Every nation has its own "Tartuffery," and calls that its virtue. — One does not know — cannot know, the 
best that is in one. 

250. What Europe owes to the Jews? — Many things, good and bad, and above all one thing of the nature both 
of the best and the worst: the grand style in morality, the fearfulness and majesty of infinite demands, of 
infinite significations, the whole Romanticism and sublimity of moral questionableness — and consequently 
just the most attractive, ensnaring, and exquisite element in those iridescences and allurements to life, in the 
aftersheen of which the sky of our European culture, its evening sky, now glows — perhaps glows out. For this, 
we artists among the spectators and philosophers, are — grateful to the Jews. 

25 1 . It must be taken into the bargain, if various clouds and disturbances — in short, slight attacks of 
stupidity — pass over the spirit of a people that suffers and WANTS to suffer from national nervous fever and 
political ambition: for instance, among present-day Germans there is alternately the anti-French folly, the 
anti-Semitic folly, the anti-Polish folly, the Christian-romantic folly, the Wagnerian folly, the Teutonic folly, 
the Prussian folly (just look at those poor historians, the Sybels and Treitschkes, and their closely bandaged 
heads), and whatever else these little obscurations of the German spirit and conscience may be called. May it 
be forgiven me that I, too, when on a short daring sojourn on very infected ground, did not remain wholly 
exempt from the disease, but like every one else, began to entertain thoughts about matters which did not 
concern me — the first symptom of political infection. About the Jews, for instance, listen to the following: — I 
have never yet met a German who was favourably inclined to the Jews; and however decided the repudiation 
of actual anti-Semitism may be on the part of all prudent and political men, this prudence and policy is not 
perhaps directed against the nature of the sentiment itself, but only against its dangerous excess, and 
especially against the distasteful and infamous expression of this excess of sentiment; — on this point we must 
not deceive ourselves. That Germany has amply SUFFICIENT Jews, that the German stomach, the German 
blood, has difficulty (and will long have difficulty) in disposing only of this quantity of "Jew" — as the Italian, 
the Frenchman, and the Englishman have done by means of a stronger digestion: — that is the unmistakable 
declaration and language of a general instinct, to which one must listen and according to which one must act. 
"Let no more Jews come in! And shut the doors, especially towards the East (also towards Austria)!" — thus 
commands the instinct of a people whose nature is still feeble and uncertain, so that it could be easily wiped 
out, easily extinguished, by a stronger race. The Jews, however, are beyond all doubt the strongest, toughest, 
and purest race at present living in Europe, they know how to succeed even under the worst conditions (in fact 
better than under favourable ones), by means of virtues of some sort, which one would like nowadays to label 
as vices — owing above all to a resolute faith which does not need to be ashamed before "modern ideas", they 
alter only, WHEN they do alter, in the same way that the Russian Empire makes its conquest — as an empire 
that has plenty of time and is not of yesterday — namely, according to the principle, "as slowly as possible"! A 
thinker who has the future of Europe at heart, will, in all his perspectives concerning the future, calculate upon 


Beyond Good and Evil 

the Jews, as he will calculate upon the Russians, as above all the surest and likeliest factors in the great play 
and battle of forces. That which is at present called a "nation" in Europe, and is really rather a RES FACTA 
than NATA (indeed, sometimes confusingly similar to a RES FICTA ET PICTA), is in every case something 
evolving, young, easily displaced, and not yet a race, much less such a race AERE PERENNUS, as the Jews 
are such "nations" should most carefully avoid all hotheaded rivalry and hostility! It is certain that the Jews, if 
they desired — or if they were driven to it, as the anti-Semites seem to wish — COULD now have the 
ascendancy, nay, literally the supremacy, over Europe, that they are NOT working and planning for that end is 
equally certain. Meanwhile, they rather wish and desire, even somewhat importunely, to be insorbed and 
absorbed by Europe, they long to be finally settled, authorized, and respected somewhere, and wish to put an 
end to the nomadic life, to the "wandering Jew", — and one should certainly take account of this impulse and 
tendency, and MAKE ADVANCES to it (it possibly betokens a mitigation of the Jewish instincts) for which 
purpose it would perhaps be useful and fair to banish the anti-Semitic bawlers out of the country. One should 
make advances with all prudence, and with selection, pretty much as the English nobility do It stands to 
reason that the more powerful and strongly marked types of new Germanism could enter into relation with the 
Jews with the least hesitation, for instance, the nobleman officer from the Prussian border it would be 
interesting in many ways to see whether the genius for money and patience (and especially some intellect and 
intellectuality — sadly lacking in the place referred to) could not in addition be annexed and trained to the 
hereditary art of commanding and obeying — for both of which the country in question has now a classic 
reputation But here it is expedient to break off my festal discourse and my sprightly Teutonomania for I have 
already reached my SERIOUS TOPIC, the "European problem," as I understand it, the rearing of a new ruling 
caste for Europe. 

252. They are not a philosophical race — the English: Bacon represents an ATTACK on the philosophical 
spirit generally, Hobbes, Hume, and Locke, an abasement, and a depreciation of the idea of a "philosopher" 
for more than a century. It was AGAINST Hume that Kant uprose and raised himself; it was Locke of whom 
Schelling RIGHTLY said, "JE MEPRISE LOCKE"; in the struggle against the English mechanical 
stultification of the world, Hegel and Schopenhauer (along with Goethe) were of one accord; the two hostile 
brother-geniuses in philosophy, who pushed in different directions towards the opposite poles of German 
thought, and thereby wronged each other as only brothers will do. — What is lacking in England, and has 
always been lacking, that half-actor and rhetorician knew well enough, the absurd muddle-head, Carlyle, 
who sought to conceal under passionate grimaces what he knew about himself: namely, what was LACKING 
in Carlyle — real POWER of intellect, real DEPTH of intellectual perception, in short, philosophy. It is 
characteristic of such an unphilosophical race to hold on firmly to Christianity — they NEED its discipline for 
"moralizing" and humanizing. The Englishman, more gloomy, sensual, headstrong, and brutal than the 
German — is for that very reason, as the baser of the two, also the most pious: he has all the MORE NEED of 
Christianity. To finer nostrils, this English Christianity itself has still a characteristic English taint of spleen 
and alcoholic excess, for which, owing to good reasons, it is used as an antidote — the finer poison to 
neutralize the coarser: a finer form of poisoning is in fact a step in advance with coarse-mannered people, a 
step towards spiritualization. The English coarseness and rustic demureness is still most satisfactorily 
disguised by Christian pantomime, and by praying and psalm-singing (or, more correctly, it is thereby 
explained and differently expressed); and for the herd of drunkards and rakes who formerly learned moral 
grunting under the influence of Methodism (and more recently as the "Salvation Army"), a penitential fit may 
really be the relatively highest manifestation of "humanity" to which they can be elevated: so much may 
reasonably be admitted. That, however, which offends even in the humanest Englishman is his lack of music, 
to speak figuratively (and also literally): he has neither rhythm nor dance in the movements of his soul and 
body; indeed, not even the desire for rhythm and dance, for "music." Listen to him speaking; look at the most 
beautiful Englishwoman WALKING — in no country on earth are there more beautiful doves and swans; 
finally, listen to them singing! But I ask too much . . . 

253. There are truths which are best recognized by mediocre minds, because they are best adapted for them, 
there are truths which only possess charms and seductive power for mediocre spirits: — one is pushed to this 


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probably unpleasant conclusion, now that the influence of respectable but mediocre Englishmen — I may 
mention Darwin, John Stuart Mill, and Herbert Spencer — begins to gain the ascendancy in the middle-class 
region of European taste. Indeed, who could doubt that it is a useful thing for SUCH minds to have the 
ascendancy for a time? It would be an error to consider the highly developed and independently soaring minds 
as specially qualified for determining and collecting many little common facts, and deducing conclusions 
from them; as exceptions, they are rather from the first in no very favourable position towards those who are 
"the rules." After all, they have more to do than merely to perceive: — in effect, they have to BE something 
new, they have to SIGNIFY something new, they have to REPRESENT new values! The gulf between 
knowledge and capacity is perhaps greater, and also more mysterious, than one thinks: the capable man in the 
grand style, the creator, will possibly have to be an ignorant person; — while on the other hand, for scientific 
discoveries like those of Darwin, a certain narrowness, aridity, and industrious carefulness (in short, 
something English) may not be unfavourable for arriving at them. — Finally, let it not be forgotten that the 
English, with their profound mediocrity, brought about once before a general depression of European 

What is called "modern ideas," or "the ideas of the eighteenth century," or "French ideas" — that, 
consequently, against which the GERMAN mind rose up with profound disgust — is of English origin, there is 
no doubt about it. The French were only the apes and actors of these ideas, their best soldiers, and likewise, 
alas ! their first and profoundest VICTIMS ; for owing to the diabolical Anglomania of "modern ideas," the 
AME FRANCAIS has in the end become so thin and emaciated, that at present one recalls its sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries, its profound, passionate strength, its inventive excellency, almost with disbelief. One 
must, however, maintain this verdict of historical justice in a determined manner, and defend it against present 
prejudices and appearances: the European NOBLESSE — of sentiment, taste, and manners, taking the word in 
every high sense — is the work and invention of FRANCE; the European ignobleness, the plebeianism of 
modern ideas — is ENGLAND'S work and invention. 

254. Even at present France is still the seat of the most intellectual and refined culture of Europe, it is still the 
high school of taste; but one must know how to find this "France of taste." He who belongs to it keeps himself 
well concealed: — they may be a small number in whom it lives and is embodied, besides perhaps being men 
who do not stand upon the strongest legs, in part fatalists, hypochondriacs, invalids, in part persons over- 
indulged, over-refined, such as have the AMBITION to conceal themselves. 

They have all something in common: they keep their ears closed in presence of the delirious folly and noisy 
spouting of the democratic BOURGEOIS. In fact, a besotted and brutalized France at present sprawls in the 
foreground — it recently celebrated a veritable orgy of bad taste, and at the same time of self- admiration, at 
the funeral of Victor Hugo. There is also something else common to them: a predilection to resist intellectual 
Germanizing — and a still greater inability to do so! In this France of intellect, which is also a France of 
pessimism, Schopenhauer has perhaps become more at home, and more indigenous than he has ever been in 
Germany; not to speak of Heinrich Heine, who has long ago been re-incarnated in the more refined and 
fastidious lyrists of Paris; or of Hegel, who at present, in the form of Taine — the FIRST of living 
historians — exercises an almost tyrannical influence. As regards Richard Wagner, however, the more French 
music learns to adapt itself to the actual needs of the AME MODERNE, the more will it "Wagnerite"; one can 
safely predict that beforehand, — it is already taking place sufficiently ! There are, however, three things which 
the French can still boast of with pride as their heritage and possession, and as indelible tokens of their ancient 
intellectual superiority in Europe, in spite of all voluntary or involuntary Germanizing and vulgarizing of 
taste. FIRSTLY, the capacity for artistic emotion, for devotion to "form," for which the expression, LART 
POUR LART, along with numerous others, has been invented: — such capacity has not been lacking in France 
for three centuries; and owing to its reverence for the "small number," it has again and again made a sort of 
chamber music of literature possible, which is sought for in vain elsewhere in Europe. — The SECOND thing 
whereby the French can lay claim to a superiority over Europe is their ancient, many-sided, MORALISTIC 
culture, owing to which one finds on an average, even in the petty ROMANCIERS of the newspapers and 


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chance BOULEVARDIERS DE PARIS, a psychological sensitiveness and curiosity, of which, for example, 
one has no conception (to say nothing of the thing itself!) in Germany. The Germans lack a couple of 
centuries of the moralistic work requisite thereto, which, as we have said, France has not grudged: those who 
call the Germans "naive" on that account give them commendation for a defect. (As the opposite of the 
German inexperience and innocence IN VOLUPTATE PSYCHOLOGICA, which is not too remotely 
associated with the tediousness of German intercourse, — and as the most successful expression of genuine 
French curiosity and inventive talent in this domain of delicate thrills, Henri Beyle may be noted; that 
remarkable anticipatory and forerunning man, who, with a Napoleonic TEMPO, traversed HIS Europe, in 
fact, several centuries of the European soul, as a surveyor and discoverer thereof: — it has required two 
generations to OVERTAKE him one way or other, to divine long afterwards some of the riddles that 
perplexed and enraptured him — this strange Epicurean and man of interrogation, the last great psychologist of 
France). — There is yet a THIRD claim to superiority: in the French character there is a successful half-way 
synthesis of the North and South, which makes them comprehend many things, and enjoins upon them other 
things, which an Englishman can never comprehend. Their temperament, turned alternately to and from the 
South, in which from time to time the Provencal and Ligurian blood froths over, preserves them from the 
dreadful, northern grey-in-grey, from sunless conceptual-spectrism and from poverty of blood — our 
GERMAN infirmity of taste, for the excessive prevalence of which at the present moment, blood and iron, 
that is to say "high politics," has with great resolution been prescribed (according to a dangerous healing art, 
which bids me wait and wait, but not yet hope). — There is also still in France a pre-understanding and ready 
welcome for those rarer and rarely gratified men, who are too comprehensive to find satisfaction in any kind 
of fatherlandism, and know how to love the South when in the North and the North when in the South — the 
born Midlanders, the "good Europeans." For them BIZET has made music, this latest genius, who has seen a 
new beauty and seduction, — who has discovered a piece of the SOUTH IN MUSIC. 

255. 1 hold that many precautions should be taken against German music. Suppose a person loves the South as 
I love it — as a great school of recovery for the most spiritual and the most sensuous ills, as a boundless solar 
profusion and effulgence which o'erspreads a sovereign existence believing in itself — well, such a person will 
learn to be somewhat on his guard against German music, because, in injuring his taste anew, it will also 
injure his health anew. Such a Southerner, a Southerner not by origin but by BELIEF, if he should dream of 
the future of music, must also dream of it being freed from the influence of the North; and must have in his 
ears the prelude to a deeper, mightier, and perhaps more perverse and mysterious music, a super-German 
music, which does not fade, pale, and die away, as all German music does, at the sight of the blue, wanton sea 
and the Mediterranean clearness of sky — a super-European music, which holds its own even in presence of 
the brown sunsets of the desert, whose soul is akin to the palm-tree, and can be at home and can roam with 
big, beautiful, lonely beasts of prey ... I could imagine a music of which the rarest charm would be that it 
knew nothing more of good and evil; only that here and there perhaps some sailor's home-sickness, some 
golden shadows and tender weaknesses might sweep lightly over it; an art which, from the far distance, would 
see the colours of a sinking and almost incomprehensible MORAL world fleeing towards it, and would be 
hospitable enough and profound enough to receive such belated fugitives. 

256. Owing to the morbid estrangement which the nationality-craze has induced and still induces among the 
nations of Europe, owing also to the short-sighted and hasty-handed politicians, who with the help of this 
craze, are at present in power, and do not suspect to what extent the disintegrating policy they pursue must 
necessarily be only an interlude policy — owing to all this and much else that is altogether unmentionable at 
present, the most unmistakable signs that EUROPE WISHES TO BE ONE, are now overlooked, or arbitrarily 
and falsely misinterpreted. With all the more profound and large-minded men of this century, the real general 
tendency of the mysterious labour of their souls was to prepare the way for that new SYNTHESIS, and 
tentatively to anticipate the European of the future; only in their simulations, or in their weaker moments, in 
old age perhaps, did they belong to the "fatherlands" — they only rested from themselves when they became 
"patriots." I think of such men as Napoleon, Goethe, Beethoven, Stendhal, Heinrich Heine, Schopenhauer: it 
must not be taken amiss if I also count Richard Wagner among them, about whom one must not let oneself be 


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deceived by his own misunderstandings (geniuses like him have seldom the right to understand themselves), 
still less, of course, by the unseemly noise with which he is now resisted and opposed in France: the fact 
remains, nevertheless, that Richard Wagner and the LATER FRENCH ROMANTICISM of the forties, are 
most closely and intimately related to one another. They are akin, fundamentally akin, in all the heights and 
depths of their requirements; it is Europe, the ONE Europe, whose soul presses urgently and longingly, 
outwards and upwards, in their multifarious and boisterous art — whither? into a new light? towards a new 
sun? But who would attempt to express accurately what all these masters of new modes of speech could not 
express distinctly? It is certain that the same storm and stress tormented them, that they SOUGHT in the same 
manner, these last great seekers ! All of them steeped in literature to their eyes and ears — the first artists of 
universal literary culture — for the most part even themselves writers, poets, intermediaries and blenders of the 
arts and the senses (Wagner, as musician is reckoned among painters, as poet among musicians, as artist 
generally among actors); all of them fanatics for EXPRESSION "at any cost" — I specially mention Delacroix, 
the nearest related to Wagner; all of them great discoverers in the realm of the sublime, also of the loathsome 
and dreadful, still greater discoverers in effect, in display, in the art of the show-shop; all of them talented far 
beyond their genius, out and out VIRTUOSI, with mysterious accesses to all that seduces, allures, constrains, 
and upsets; born enemies of logic and of the straight line, hankering after the strange, the exotic, the 
monstrous, the crooked, and the self-contradictory; as men, Tantaluses of the will, plebeian parvenus, who 
knew themselves to be incapable of a noble TEMPO or of a LENTO in life and action — think of Balzac, for 
instance, — unrestrained workers, almost destroying themselves by work; antinomians and rebels in manners, 
ambitious and insatiable, without equilibrium and enjoyment; all of them finally shattering and sinking down 
at the Christian cross (and with right and reason, for who of them would have been sufficiently profound and 
sufficiently original for an ANTI- CHRISTIAN philosophy?); — on the whole, a boldly daring, splendidly 
overbearing, high-flying, and aloft-up-dragging class of higher men, who had first to teach their 
century-and it is the century of the MASSES — the conception "higher man." . . . Let the German friends of 
Richard Wagner advise together as to whether there is anything purely German in the Wagnerian art, or 
whether its distinction does not consist precisely in coming from SUPER- GERMAN sources and impulses: 
in which connection it may not be underrated how indispensable Paris was to the development of his type, 
which the strength of his instincts made him long to visit at the most decisive time — and how the whole style 
of his proceedings, of his self-apostolate, could only perfect itself in sight of the French socialistic original. 
On a more subtle comparison it will perhaps be found, to the honour of Richard Wagner's German nature, that 
he has acted in everything with more strength, daring, severity, and elevation than a nineteenth- century 
Frenchman could have done — owing to the circumstance that we Germans are as yet nearer to barbarism than 
the French; — perhaps even the most remarkable creation of Richard Wagner is not only at present, but for 
ever inaccessible, incomprehensible, and inimitable to the whole latter-day Latin race: the figure of Siegfried, 
that VERY FREE man, who is probably far too free, too hard, too cheerful, too healthy, too 
ANTI-CATHOLIC for the taste of old and mellow civilized nations. He may even have been a sin against 
Romanticism, this anti-Latin Siegfried: well, Wagner atoned amply for this sin in his old sad days, 
when — anticipating a taste which has meanwhile passed into politics — he began, with the religious 
vehemence peculiar to him, to preach, at least, THE WAY TO ROME, if not to walk therein. — That these last 
words may not be misunderstood, I will call to my aid a few powerful rhymes, which will even betray to less 
delicate ears what I mean — what I mean COUNTER TO the "last Wagner" and his Parsifal music: — 

— Is this our mode? — From German heart came this vexed ululating? From German body, this 
self-lacerating? Is ours this priestly hand-dilation, This incense-fuming exaltation? Is ours this faltering, 
falling, shambling, This quite uncertain ding-dong- dangling? This sly nun-ogling, Ave-hour-bell ringing, 
This wholly false enraptured heaven-o'erspringing? — Is this our mode? — Think well! — ye still wait for 
admission— For what ye hear is ROME— ROME'S FAITH BY INTUITION! 


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257. EVERY elevation of the type "man," has hitherto been the work of an aristocratic society and so it will 
always be — a society believing in a long scale of gradations of rank and differences of worth among human 
beings, and requiring slavery in some form or other. Without the PATHOS OF DISTANCE, such as grows 
out of the incarnated difference of classes, out of the constant out-looking and down-looking of the ruling 
caste on subordinates and instruments, and out of their equally constant practice of obeying and commanding, 
of keeping down and keeping at a distance — that other more mysterious pathos could never have arisen, the 
longing for an ever new widening of distance within the soul itself, the formation of ever higher, rarer, further, 
more extended, more comprehensive states, in short, just the elevation of the type "man," the continued 
"self-surmounting of man," to use a moral formula in a supermoral sense. To be sure, one must not resign 
oneself to any humanitarian illusions about the history of the origin of an aristocratic society (that is to say, of 
the preliminary condition for the elevation of the type "man"): the truth is hard. Let us acknowledge 
unprejudicedly how every higher civilization hitherto has ORIGINATED! Men with a still natural nature, 
barbarians in every terrible sense of the word, men of prey, still in possession of unbroken strength of will and 
desire for power, threw themselves upon weaker, more moral, more peaceful races (perhaps trading or 
cattle-rearing communities), or upon old mellow civilizations in which the final vital force was flickering out 
in brilliant fireworks of wit and depravity. At the commencement, the noble caste was always the barbarian 
caste: their superiority did not consist first of all in their physical, but in their psychical power — they were 
more COMPLETE men (which at every point also implies the same as "more complete beasts"). 

258. Corruption — as the indication that anarchy threatens to break out among the instincts, and that the 
foundation of the emotions, called "life," is convulsed — is something radically different according to the 
organization in which it manifests itself. When, for instance, an aristocracy like that of France at the beginning 
of the Revolution, flung away its privileges with sublime disgust and sacrificed itself to an excess of its moral 
sentiments, it was corruption: — it was really only the closing act of the corruption which had existed for 
centuries, by virtue of which that aristocracy had abdicated step by step its lordly prerogatives and lowered 
itself to a FUNCTION of royalty (in the end even to its decoration and parade-dress). The essential thing, 
however, in a good and healthy aristocracy is that it should not regard itself as a function either of the 
kingship or the commonwealth, but as the SIGNIFICANCE and highest justification thereof — that it should 
therefore accept with a good conscience the sacrifice of a legion of individuals, who, FOR ITS SAKE, must 
be suppressed and reduced to imperfect men, to slaves and instruments. Its fundamental belief must be 
precisely that society is NOT allowed to exist for its own sake, but only as a foundation and scaffolding, by 
means of which a select class of beings may be able to elevate themselves to their higher duties, and in 
general to a higher EXISTENCE: like those sun- seeking climbing plants in Java — they are called Sipo 
Matador, — which encircle an oak so long and so often with their arms, until at last, high above it, but 
supported by it, they can unfold their tops in the open light, and exhibit their happiness. 

259. To refrain mutually from injury, from violence, from exploitation, and put one's will on a par with that of 
others: this may result in a certain rough sense in good conduct among individuals when the necessary 
conditions are given (namely, the actual similarity of the individuals in amount of force and degree of worth, 
and their co-relation within one organization). As soon, however, as one wished to take this principle more 
generally, and if possible even as the FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE OF SOCIETY, it would immediately 
disclose what it really is — namely, a Will to the DENIAL of life, a principle of dissolution and decay. Here 
one must think profoundly to the very basis and resist all sentimental weakness: life itself is ESSENTIALLY 
appropriation, injury, conquest of the strange and weak, suppression, severity, obtrusion of peculiar forms, 
incorporation, and at the least, putting it mildest, exploitation; — but why should one for ever use precisely 
these words on which for ages a disparaging purpose has been stamped? Even the organization within which, 
as was previously supposed, the individuals treat each other as equal — it takes place in every healthy 
aristocracy — must itself, if it be a living and not a dying organization, do all that towards other bodies, which 
the individuals within it refrain from doing to each other it will have to be the incarnated Will to Power, it will 


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endeavour to grow, to gain ground, attract to itself and acquire ascendancy — not owing to any morality or 
immorality, but because it LIVES, and because life IS precisely Will to Power. On no point, however, is the 
ordinary consciousness of Europeans more unwilling to be corrected than on this matter, people now rave 
everywhere, even under the guise of science, about coming conditions of society in which "the exploiting 
character" is to be absent — that sounds to my ears as if they promised to invent a mode of life which should 
refrain from all organic functions. "Exploitation" does not belong to a depraved, or imperfect and primitive 
society it belongs to the nature of the living being as a primary organic function, it is a consequence of the 
intrinsic Will to Power, which is precisely the Will to Life — Granting that as a theory this is a novelty — as a 
reality it is the FUNDAMENTAL FACT of all history let us be so far honest towards ourselves ! 

260. In a tour through the many finer and coarser moralities which have hitherto prevailed or still prevail on 
the earth, I found certain traits recurring regularly together, and connected with one another, until finally two 
primary types revealed themselves to me, and a radical distinction was brought to light. There is 
MASTER-MORALITY and SLAVE-MORALITY,— I would at once add, however, that in all higher and 
mixed civilizations, there are also attempts at the reconciliation of the two moralities, but one finds still 
oftener the confusion and mutual misunderstanding of them, indeed sometimes their close 
juxtaposition — even in the same man, within one soul. The distinctions of moral values have either originated 
in a ruling caste, pleasantly conscious of being different from the ruled — or among the ruled class, the slaves 
and dependents of all sorts. In the first case, when it is the rulers who determine the conception "good," it is 
the exalted, proud disposition which is regarded as the distinguishing feature, and that which determines the 
order of rank. The noble type of man separates from himself the beings in whom the opposite of this exalted, 
proud disposition displays itself he despises them. Let it at once be noted that in this first kind of morality the 
antithesis "good" and "bad" means practically the same as "noble" and "despicable", — the antithesis "good" 
and "EVIL" is of a different origin. The cowardly, the timid, the insignificant, and those thinking merely of 
narrow utility are despised; moreover, also, the distrustful, with their constrained glances, the self- abasing, 
the dog-like kind of men who let themselves be abused, the mendicant flatterers, and above all the liars: — it is 
a fundamental belief of all aristocrats that the common people are untruthful. "We truthful ones" — the nobility 
in ancient Greece called themselves. It is obvious that everywhere the designations of moral value were at first 
applied to MEN; and were only derivatively and at a later period applied to ACTIONS; it is a gross mistake, 
therefore, when historians of morals start with questions like, "Why have sympathetic actions been praised?" 
The noble type of man regards HIMSELF as a determiner of values; he does not require to be approved of; he 
passes the judgment: "What is injurious to me is injurious in itself;" he knows that it is he himself only who 
confers honour on things; he is a CREATOR OF VALUES. He honours whatever he recognizes in himself: 
such morality equals self-glorification. In the foreground there is the feeling of plenitude, of power, which 
seeks to overflow, the happiness of high tension, the consciousness of a wealth which would fain give and 
bestow: — the noble man also helps the unfortunate, but not — or scarcely — out of pity, but rather from an 
impulse generated by the super-abundance of power. The noble man honours in himself the powerful one, 
him also who has power over himself, who knows how to speak and how to keep silence, who takes pleasure 
in subjecting himself to severity and hardness, and has reverence for all that is severe and hard. "Wotan placed 
a hard heart in my breast," says an old Scandinavian Saga: it is thus rightly expressed from the soul of a proud 
Viking. Such a type of man is even proud of not being made for sympathy; the hero of the Saga therefore adds 
warningly: "He who has not a hard heart when young, will never have one." The noble and brave who think 
thus are the furthest removed from the morality which sees precisely in sympathy, or in acting for the good of 
others, or in DESINTERESSEMENT, the characteristic of the moral; faith in oneself, pride in oneself, a 
radical enmity and irony towards "selflessness," belong as definitely to noble morality, as do a careless scorn 
and precaution in presence of sympathy and the "warm heart." — It is the powerful who KNOW how to 
honour, it is their art, their domain for invention. The profound reverence for age and for tradition — all law 
rests on this double reverence, — the belief and prejudice in favour of ancestors and unfavourable to 
newcomers, is typical in the morality of the powerful; and if, reversely, men of "modern ideas" believe almost 
instinctively in "progress" and the "future," and are more and more lacking in respect for old age, the ignoble 
origin of these "ideas" has complacently betrayed itself thereby. A morality of the ruling class, however, is 


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more especially foreign and irritating to present-day taste in the sternness of its principle that one has duties 
only to one's equals; that one may act towards beings of a lower rank, towards all that is foreign, just as seems 
good to one, or "as the heart desires," and in any case "beyond good and evil": it is here that sympathy and 
similar sentiments can have a place. The ability and obligation to exercise prolonged gratitude and prolonged 
revenge — both only within the circle of equals, — artfulness in retaliation, RAFFINEMENT of the idea in 
friendship, a certain necessity to have enemies (as outlets for the emotions of envy, quarrelsomeness, 
arrogance — in fact, in order to be a good FRIEND): all these are typical characteristics of the noble morality, 
which, as has been pointed out, is not the morality of "modern ideas," and is therefore at present difficult to 
realize, and also to unearth and disclose. — It is otherwise with the second type of morality, 
SLAVE-MORALITY. Supposing that the abused, the oppressed, the suffering, the unemancipated, the 
weary, and those uncertain of themselves should moralize, what will be the common element in their moral 
estimates? Probably a pessimistic suspicion with regard to the entire situation of man will find expression, 
perhaps a condemnation of man, together with his situation. The slave has an unfavourable eye for the virtues 
of the powerful; he has a skepticism and distrust, a REFINEMENT of distrust of everything "good" that is 
there honoured — he would fain persuade himself that the very happiness there is not genuine. On the other 
hand, THOSE qualities which serve to alleviate the existence of sufferers are brought into prominence and 
flooded with light; it is here that sympathy, the kind, helping hand, the warm heart, patience, diligence, 
humility, and friendliness attain to honour; for here these are the most useful qualities, and almost the only 
means of supporting the burden of existence. Slave-morality is essentially the morality of utility. Here is the 
seat of the origin of the famous antithesis "good" and "evil": — power and dangerousness are assumed to 
reside in the evil, a certain dreadfulness, subtlety, and strength, which do not admit of being despised. 
According to slave-morality, therefore, the "evil" man arouses fear; according to master-morality, it is 
precisely the "good" man who arouses fear and seeks to arouse it, while the bad man is regarded as the 
despicable being. The contrast attains its maximum when, in accordance with the logical consequences of 
slave-morality, a shade of depreciation — it may be slight and well-intentioned — at last attaches itself to the 
"good" man of this morality; because, according to the servile mode of thought, the good man must in any 
case be the SAFE man: he is good-natured, easily deceived, perhaps a little stupid, un bonhomme. 
Everywhere that slave- morality gains the ascendancy, language shows a tendency to approximate the 

significations of the words "good" and "stupid." A last fundamental difference: the desire for FREEDOM, 

the instinct for happiness and the refinements of the feeling of liberty belong as necessarily to slave-morals 
and morality, as artifice and enthusiasm in reverence and devotion are the regular symptoms of an aristocratic 
mode of thinking and estimating. — Hence we can understand without further detail why love AS A 
PASSION — it is our European specialty — must absolutely be of noble origin; as is well known, its invention 
is due to the Provencal poet-cavaliers, those brilliant, ingenious men of the "gai saber," to whom Europe 
owes so much, and almost owes itself. 

261. Vanity is one of the things which are perhaps most difficult for a noble man to understand: he will be 
tempted to deny it, where another kind of man thinks he sees it self-evidently. The problem for him is to 
represent to his mind beings who seek to arouse a good opinion of themselves which they themselves do not 
possess — and consequently also do not "deserve," — and who yet BELIEVE in this good opinion afterwards. 
This seems to him on the one hand such bad taste and so self-disrespectful, and on the other hand so 
grotesquely unreasonable, that he would like to consider vanity an exception, and is doubtful about it in most 
cases when it is spoken of. He will say, for instance: "I may be mistaken about my value, and on the other 
hand may nevertheless demand that my value should be acknowledged by others precisely as I rate it: — that, 
however, is not vanity (but self-conceit, or, in most cases, that which is called 'humility,' and also 'modesty')." 
Or he will even say: "For many reasons I can delight in the good opinion of others, perhaps because I love and 
honour them, and rejoice in all their joys, perhaps also because their good opinion endorses and strengthens 
my belief in my own good opinion, perhaps because the good opinion of others, even in cases where I do not 
share it, is useful to me, or gives promise of usefulness: — all this, however, is not vanity." The man of noble 
character must first bring it home forcibly to his mind, especially with the aid of history, that, from time 
immemorial, in all social strata in any way dependent, the ordinary man WAS only that which he PASSED 


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FOR: — not being at all accustomed to fix values, he did not assign even to himself any other value than that 
which his master assigned to him (it is the peculiar RIGHT OF MASTERS to create values). It may be looked 
upon as the result of an extraordinary atavism, that the ordinary man, even at present, is still always 
WAITING for an opinion about himself, and then instinctively submitting himself to it; yet by no means only 
to a "good" opinion, but also to a bad and unjust one (think, for instance, of the greater part of the self- 
appreciations and self-depreciations which believing women learn from their confessors, and which in 
general the believing Christian learns from his Church). In fact, conformably to the slow rise of the 
democratic social order (and its cause, the blending of the blood of masters and slaves), the originally noble 
and rare impulse of the masters to assign a value to themselves and to "think well" of themselves, will now be 
more and more encouraged and extended; but it has at all times an older, ampler, and more radically ingrained 
propensity opposed to it — and in the phenomenon of "vanity" this older propensity overmasters the younger. 
The vain person rejoices over EVERY good opinion which he hears about himself (quite apart from the point 
of view of its usefulness, and equally regardless of its truth or falsehood), just as he suffers from every bad 
opinion: for he subjects himself to both, he feels himself subjected to both, by that oldest instinct of subjection 
which breaks forth in him. — It is "the slave" in the vain man's blood, the remains of the slave's 
craftiness — and how much of the "slave" is still left in woman, for instance! — which seeks to SEDUCE to 
good opinions of itself; it is the slave, too, who immediately afterwards falls prostrate himself before these 
opinions, as though he had not called them forth. — And to repeat it again: vanity is an atavism. 

262. A SPECIES originates, and a type becomes established and strong in the long struggle with essentially 
constant UNFAVOURABLE conditions. On the other hand, it is known by the experience of breeders that 
species which receive super-abundant nourishment, and in general a surplus of protection and care, 
immediately tend in the most marked way to develop variations, and are fertile in prodigies and monstrosities 
(also in monstrous vices). Now look at an aristocratic commonwealth, say an ancient Greek polis, or Venice, 
as a voluntary or involuntary contrivance for the purpose of REARING human beings; there are there men 
beside one another, thrown upon their own resources, who want to make their species prevail, chiefly because 
they MUST prevail, or else run the terrible danger of being exterminated. The favour, the super-abundance, 
the protection are there lacking under which variations are fostered; the species needs itself as species, as 
something which, precisely by virtue of its hardness, its uniformity, and simplicity of structure, can in general 
prevail and make itself permanent in constant struggle with its neighbours, or with rebellious or 
rebellion-threatening vassals. The most varied experience teaches it what are the qualities to which it 
principally owes the fact that it still exists, in spite of all Gods and men, and has hitherto been victorious: 
these qualities it calls virtues, and these virtues alone it develops to maturity. It does so with severity, indeed it 
desires severity; every aristocratic morality is intolerant in the education of youth, in the control of women, in 
the marriage customs, in the relations of old and young, in the penal laws (which have an eye only for the 
degenerating): it counts intolerance itself among the virtues, under the name of "justice." A type with few, but 
very marked features, a species of severe, warlike, wisely silent, reserved, and reticent men (and as such, with 
the most delicate sensibility for the charm and nuances of society) is thus established, unaffected by the 
vicissitudes of generations; the constant struggle with uniform UNFAVOURABLE conditions is, as already 
remarked, the cause of a type becoming stable and hard. Finally, however, a happy state of things results, the 
enormous tension is relaxed; there are perhaps no more enemies among the neighbouring peoples, and the 
means of life, even of the enjoyment of life, are present in superabundance. With one stroke the bond and 
constraint of the old discipline severs: it is no longer regarded as necessary, as a condition of existence — if it 
would continue, it can only do so as a form of LUXURY, as an archaizing TASTE. Variations, whether they 
be deviations (into the higher, finer, and rarer), or deteriorations and monstrosities, appear suddenly on the 
scene in the greatest exuberance and splendour; the individual dares to be individual and detach himself. At 
this turning-point of history there manifest themselves, side by side, and often mixed and entangled together, 
a magnificent, manifold, virgin-forest-like up-growth and up-striving, a kind of TROPICAL TEMPO in the 
rivalry of growth, and an extraordinary decay and self- destruction, owing to the savagely opposing and 
seemingly exploding egoisms, which strive with one another "for sun and light," and can no longer assign any 
limit, restraint, or forbearance for themselves by means of the hitherto existing morality. It was this morality 


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itself which piled up the strength so enormously, which bent the bow in so threatening a manner: — it is now 
"out of date," it is getting "out of date." The dangerous and disquieting point has been reached when the 
greater, more manifold, more comprehensive life IS LIVED BEYOND the old morality; the "individual" 
stands out, and is obliged to have recourse to his own law-giving, his own arts and artifices for 
self-preservation, self-elevation, and self-deliverance. Nothing but new "Whys," nothing but new "Hows," 
no common formulas any longer, misunderstanding and disregard in league with each other, decay, 
deterioration, and the loftiest desires frightfully entangled, the genius of the race overflowing from all the 
cornucopias of good and bad, a portentous simultaneousness of Spring and Autumn, full of new charms and 
mysteries peculiar to the fresh, still inexhausted, still unwearied corruption. Danger is again present, the 
mother of morality, great danger; this time shifted into the individual, into the neighbour and friend, into the 
street, into their own child, into their own heart, into all the most personal and secret recesses of their desires 
and volitions. What will the moral philosophers who appear at this time have to preach? They discover, these 
sharp onlookers and loafers, that the end is quickly approaching, that everything around them decays and 
produces decay, that nothing will endure until the day after tomorrow, except one species of man, the 
incurably MEDIOCRE. The mediocre alone have a prospect of continuing and propagating themselves — they 
will be the men of the future, the sole survivors; "be like them! become mediocre!" is now the only morality 
which has still a significance, which still obtains a hearing. — But it is difficult to preach this morality of 
mediocrity ! it can never avow what it is and what it desires ! it has to talk of moderation and dignity and duty 
and brotherly love— it will have difficulty IN CONCEALING ITS IRONY! 

263. There is an INSTINCT FOR RANK, which more than anything else is already the sign of a HIGH rank; 
there is a DELIGHT in the NUANCES of reverence which leads one to infer noble origin and habits. The 
refinement, goodness, and loftiness of a soul are put to a perilous test when something passes by that is of the 
highest rank, but is not yet protected by the awe of authority from obtrusive touches and incivilities: 
something that goes its way like a living touchstone, undistinguished, undiscovered, and tentative, perhaps 
voluntarily veiled and disguised. He whose task and practice it is to investigate souls, will avail himself of 
many varieties of this very art to determine the ultimate value of a soul, the unalterable, innate order of rank to 
which it belongs: he will test it by its INSTINCT FOR REVERENCE. DIFFERENCE ENGENDRE HAINE: 
the vulgarity of many a nature spurts up suddenly like dirty water, when any holy vessel, any jewel from 
closed shrines, any book bearing the marks of great destiny, is brought before it; while on the other hand, 
there is an involuntary silence, a hesitation of the eye, a cessation of all gestures, by which it is indicated that a 
soul FEELS the nearness of what is worthiest of respect. The way in which, on the whole, the reverence for 
the BIBLE has hitherto been maintained in Europe, is perhaps the best example of discipline and refinement 
of manners which Europe owes to Christianity: books of such profoundness and supreme significance require 
for their protection an external tyranny of authority, in order to acquire the PERIOD of thousands of years 
which is necessary to exhaust and unriddle them. Much has been achieved when the sentiment has been at last 
instilled into the masses (the shallow-pates and the boobies of every kind) that they are not allowed to touch 
everything, that there are holy experiences before which they must take off their shoes and keep away the 
unclean hand — it is almost their highest advance towards humanity. On the contrary, in the so-called cultured 
classes, the believers in "modern ideas," nothing is perhaps so repulsive as their lack of shame, the easy 
insolence of eye and hand with which they touch, taste, and finger everything; and it is possible that even yet 
there is more RELATIVE nobility of taste, and more tact for reverence among the people, among the lower 
classes of the people, especially among peasants, than among the newspaper-reading DEMIMONDE of 
intellect, the cultured class. 

264. It cannot be effaced from a man's soul what his ancestors have preferably and most constantly done: 
whether they were perhaps diligent economizers attached to a desk and a cash-box, modest and citizen-like 
in their desires, modest also in their virtues; or whether they were accustomed to commanding from morning 
till night, fond of rude pleasures and probably of still ruder duties and responsibilities; or whether, finally, at 
one time or another, they have sacrificed old privileges of birth and possession, in order to live wholly for 
their faith — for their "God," — as men of an inexorable and sensitive conscience, which blushes at every 


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compromise. It is quite impossible for a man NOT to have the qualities and predilections of his parents and 
ancestors in his constitution, whatever appearances may suggest to the contrary. This is the problem of race. 
Granted that one knows something of the parents, it is admissible to draw a conclusion about the child: any 
kind of offensive incontinence, any kind of sordid envy, or of clumsy self-vaunting — the three things which 
together have constituted the genuine plebeian type in all times — such must pass over to the child, as surely as 
bad blood; and with the help of the best education and culture one will only succeed in DECEIVING with 
regard to such heredity. — And what else does education and culture try to do nowadays! In our very 
democratic, or rather, very plebeian age, "education" and "culture" MUST be essentially the art of 
deceiving — deceiving with regard to origin, with regard to the inherited plebeianism in body and soul. An 
educator who nowadays preached truthfulness above everything else, and called out constantly to his pupils: 
"Be true! Be natural! Show yourselves as you are!" — even such a virtuous and sincere ass would learn in a 
short time to have recourse to the FURCA of Horace, NATURAM EXPELLERE: with what results? 
"Plebeianism" USQUE RECURRET. [FOOTNOTE: Horace's "Epistles," I. x. 24.] 

265. At the risk of displeasing innocent ears, I submit that egoism belongs to the essence of a noble soul, I 
mean the unalterable belief that to a being such as "we," other beings must naturally be in subjection, and 
have to sacrifice themselves. The noble soul accepts the fact of his egoism without question, and also without 
consciousness of harshness, constraint, or arbitrariness therein, but rather as something that may have its basis 
in the primary law of things: — if he sought a designation for it he would say: "It is justice itself." He 
acknowledges under certain circumstances, which made him hesitate at first, that there are other equally 
privileged ones; as soon as he has settled this question of rank, he moves among those equals and equally 
privileged ones with the same assurance, as regards modesty and delicate respect, which he enjoys in 
intercourse with himself — in accordance with an innate heavenly mechanism which all the stars understand. It 
is an ADDITIONAL instance of his egoism, this artfulness and self-limitation in intercourse with his 
equals — every star is a similar egoist; he honours HIMSELF in them, and in the rights which he concedes to 
them, he has no doubt that the exchange of honours and rights, as the ESSENCE of all intercourse, belongs 
also to the natural condition of things. The noble soul gives as he takes, prompted by the passionate and 
sensitive instinct of requital, which is at the root of his nature. The notion of "favour" has, INTER PARES, 
neither significance nor good repute; there may be a sublime way of letting gifts as it were light upon one 
from above, and of drinking them thirstily like dew-drops; but for those arts and displays the noble soul has 
no aptitude. His egoism hinders him here: in general, he looks "aloft" unwillingly — he looks either 
FORWARD, horizontally and deliberately, or downwards— HE KNOWS THAT HE IS ON A HEIGHT. 

266. "One can only truly esteem him who does not LOOK OUT FOR himself." — Goethe to Rath Schlosser. 

267. The Chinese have a proverb which mothers even teach their children: "SIAO-SIN" ("MAKE THY 
HEART SMALL"). This is the essentially fundamental tendency in latter-day civilizations. I have no doubt 
that an ancient Greek, also, would first of all remark the self-dwarfing in us Europeans of today — in this 
respect alone we should immediately be "distasteful" to him. 

268. What, after all, is ignobleness? — Words are vocal symbols for ideas; ideas, however, are more or less 
definite mental symbols for frequently returning and concurring sensations, for groups of sensations. It is not 
sufficient to use the same words in order to understand one another: we must also employ the same words for 
the same kind of internal experiences, we must in the end have experiences IN COMMON. On this account 
the people of one nation understand one another better than those belonging to different nations, even when 
they use the same language; or rather, when people have lived long together under similar conditions (of 
climate, soil, danger, requirement, toil) there ORIGINATES therefrom an entity that "understands 

itself — namely, a nation. In all souls a like number of frequently recurring experiences have gained the upper 
hand over those occurring more rarely: about these matters people understand one another rapidly and always 
more rapidly — the history of language is the history of a process of abbreviation; on the basis of this quick 
comprehension people always unite closer and closer. The greater the danger, the greater is the need of 


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agreeing quickly and readily about what is necessary; not to misunderstand one another in danger — that is 
what cannot at all be dispensed with in intercourse. Also in all loves and friendships one has the experience 
that nothing of the kind continues when the discovery has been made that in using the same words, one of the 
two parties has feelings, thoughts, intuitions, wishes, or fears different from those of the other. (The fear of the 
"eternal misunderstanding": that is the good genius which so often keeps persons of different sexes from too 
hasty attachments, to which sense and heart prompt them — and NOT some Schopenhauerian "genius of the 
species"!) Whichever groups of sensations within a soul awaken most readily, begin to speak, and give the 
word of command — these decide as to the general order of rank of its values, and determine ultimately its list 
of desirable things. A man's estimates of value betray something of the STRUCTURE of his soul, and wherein 
it sees its conditions of life, its intrinsic needs. Supposing now that necessity has from all time drawn together 
only such men as could express similar requirements and similar experiences by similar symbols, it results on 
the whole that the easy COMMUNIC ABILITY of need, which implies ultimately the undergoing only of 
average and COMMON experiences, must have been the most potent of all the forces which have hitherto 
operated upon mankind. The more similar, the more ordinary people, have always had and are still having the 
advantage; the more select, more refined, more unique, and difficultly comprehensible, are liable to stand 
alone; they succumb to accidents in their isolation, and seldom propagate themselves. One must appeal to 
immense opposing forces, in order to thwart this natural, all-too-natural PROGRESSUS IN SIMILE, the 
evolution of man to the similar, the ordinary, the average, the gregarious — to the IGNOBLE! — 

269. The more a psychologist — a born, an unavoidable psychologist and soul-diviner — turns his attention to 
the more select cases and individuals, the greater is his danger of being suffocated by sympathy: he NEEDS 
sternness and cheerfulness more than any other man. For the corruption, the ruination of higher men, of the 
more unusually constituted souls, is in fact, the rule: it is dreadful to have such a rule always before one's 
eyes. The manifold torment of the psychologist who has discovered this ruination, who discovers once, and 
then discovers ALMOST repeatedly throughout all history, this universal inner "desperateness" of higher 
men, this eternal "too late!" in every sense — may perhaps one day be the cause of his turning with bitterness 
against his own lot, and of his making an attempt at self-destruction — of his "going to ruin" himself. One 
may perceive in almost every psychologist a tell-tale inclination for delightful intercourse with commonplace 
and well-ordered men; the fact is thereby disclosed that he always requires healing, that he needs a sort of 
flight and forgetfulness, away from what his insight and incisiveness — from what his "business" — has laid 
upon his conscience. The fear of his memory is peculiar to him. He is easily silenced by the judgment of 
others; he hears with unmoved countenance how people honour, admire, love, and glorify, where he has 
PERCEIVED — or he even conceals his silence by expressly assenting to some plausible opinion. Perhaps the 
paradox of his situation becomes so dreadful that, precisely where he has learnt GREAT SYMPATHY, 
together with great CONTEMPT, the multitude, the educated, and the visionaries, have on their part learnt 
great reverence — reverence for "great men" and marvelous animals, for the sake of whom one blesses and 
honours the fatherland, the earth, the dignity of mankind, and one's own self, to whom one points the young, 
and in view of whom one educates them. And who knows but in all great instances hitherto just the same 
happened: that the multitude worshipped a God, and that the "God" was only a poor sacrificial animal! 
SUCCESS has always been the greatest liar — and the "work" itself is a success; the great statesman, the 
conqueror, the discoverer, are disguised in their creations until they are unrecognizable; the "work" of the 
artist, of the philosopher, only invents him who has created it, is REPUTED to have created it; the "great 
men," as they are reverenced, are poor little fictions composed afterwards; in the world of historical values 
spurious coinage PREVAILS. Those great poets, for example, such as Byron, Musset, Poe, Leopardi, Kleist, 
Gogol (I do not venture to mention much greater names, but I have them in my mind), as they now appear, 
and were perhaps obliged to be: men of the moment, enthusiastic, sensuous, and childish, light- minded and 
impulsive in their trust and distrust; with souls in which usually some flaw has to be concealed; often taking 
revenge with their works for an internal defilement, often seeking forgetfulness in their soaring from a too true 
memory, often lost in the mud and almost in love with it, until they become like the Will-o'-the- Wisps 
around the swamps, and PRETEND TO BE stars — the people then call them idealists, — often struggling with 
protracted disgust, with an ever-reappearing phantom of disbelief, which makes them cold, and obliges them 


Beyond Good and Evil 

to languish for GLORIA and devour "faith as it is" out of the hands of intoxicated adulators: — what a 
TORMENT these great artists are and the so-called higher men in general, to him who has once found them 
out! It is thus conceivable that it is just from woman — who is clairvoyant in the world of suffering, and also 
unfortunately eager to help and save to an extent far beyond her powers — that THEY have learnt so readily 
those outbreaks of boundless devoted SYMPATHY, which the multitude, above all the reverent multitude, do 
not understand, and overwhelm with prying and self-gratifying interpretations. This sympathizing invariably 
deceives itself as to its power; woman would like to believe that love can do EVERYTHING — it is the 
SUPERSTITION peculiar to her. Alas, he who knows the heart finds out how poor, helpless, pretentious, and 
blundering even the best and deepest love is — he finds that it rather DESTROYS than saves! — It is possible 
that under the holy fable and travesty of the life of Jesus there is hidden one of the most painful cases of the 
martyrdom of KNOWLEDGE ABOUT LOVE: the martyrdom of the most innocent and most craving heart, 
that never had enough of any human love, that DEMANDED love, that demanded inexorably and frantically 
to be loved and nothing else, with terrible outbursts against those who refused him their love; the story of a 
poor soul insatiated and insatiable in love, that had to invent hell to send thither those who WOULD NOT 
love him — and that at last, enlightened about human love, had to invent a God who is entire love, entire 
CAPACITY for love — who takes pity on human love, because it is so paltry, so ignorant! He who has such 
sentiments, he who has such KNOWLEDGE about love — SEEKS for death! — But why should one deal with 
such painful matters? Provided, of course, that one is not obliged to do so. 

270. The intellectual haughtiness and loathing of every man who has suffered deeply — it almost determines 
the order of rank HOW deeply men can suffer — the chilling certainty, with which he is thoroughly imbued 
and coloured, that by virtue of his suffering he KNOWS MORE than the shrewdest and wisest can ever know, 
that he has been familiar with, and "at home" in, many distant, dreadful worlds of which "YOU know 
nothing" ! — this silent intellectual haughtiness of the sufferer, this pride of the elect of knowledge, of the 
"initiated," of the almost sacrificed, finds all forms of disguise necessary to protect itself from contact with 
officious and sympathizing hands, and in general from all that is not its equal in suffering. Profound suffering 
makes noble: it separates. — One of the most refined forms of disguise is Epicurism, along with a certain 
ostentatious boldness of taste, which takes suffering lightly, and puts itself on the defensive against all that is 
sorrowful and profound. They are "gay men" who make use of gaiety, because they are misunderstood on 
account of it — they WISH to be misunderstood. There are "scientific minds" who make use of science, 
because it gives a gay appearance, and because scientificness leads to the conclusion that a person is 
superficial — they WISH to mislead to a false conclusion. There are free insolent minds which would fain 
conceal and deny that they are broken, proud, incurable hearts (the cynicism of Hamlet — the case of Galiani); 
and occasionally folly itself is the mask of an unfortunate OVER- ASSURED knowledge. — From which it 
follows that it is the part of a more refined humanity to have reverence "for the mask," and not to make use of 
psychology and curiosity in the wrong place. 

271. That which separates two men most profoundly is a different sense and grade of purity. What does it 
matter about all their honesty and reciprocal usefulness, what does it matter about all their mutual good-will: 
the fact still remains — they "cannot smell each other!" The highest instinct for purity places him who is 
affected with it in the most extraordinary and dangerous isolation, as a saint: for it is just holiness — the 
highest spiritualization of the instinct in question. Any kind of cognizance of an indescribable excess in the 
joy of the bath, any kind of ardour or thirst which perpetually impels the soul out of night into the morning, 
and out of gloom, out of "affliction" into clearness, brightness, depth, and refinement: — just as much as such a 
tendency DISTINGUISHES— it is a noble tendency— it also SEPARATES.— The pity of the saint is pity for 
the FILTH of the human, all-too-human. And there are grades and heights where pity itself is regarded by 
him as impurity, as filth. 

272. Signs of nobility: never to think of lowering our duties to the rank of duties for everybody; to be 
unwilling to renounce or to share our responsibilities; to count our prerogatives, and the exercise of them, 
among our DUTIES. 


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273. A man who strives after great things, looks upon every one whom he encounters on his way either as a 
means of advance, or a delay and hindrance — or as a temporary resting-place. His peculiar lofty BOUNTY to 
his fellow-men is only possible when he attains his elevation and dominates. Impatience, and the 
consciousness of being always condemned to comedy up to that time — for even strife is a comedy, and 
conceals the end, as every means does — spoil all intercourse for him; this kind of man is acquainted with 
solitude, and what is most poisonous in it. 

274. THE PROBLEM OF THOSE WHO WAIT.— Happy chances are necessary, and many incalculable 
elements, in order that a higher man in whom the solution of a problem is dormant, may yet take action, or 
"break forth," as one might say — at the right moment. On an average it DOES NOT happen; and in all corners 
of the earth there are waiting ones sitting who hardly know to what extent they are waiting, and still less that 
they wait in vain. Occasionally, too, the waking call comes too late — the chance which gives "permission" to 
take action — when their best youth, and strength for action have been used up in sitting still; and how many a 
one, just as he "sprang up," has found with horror that his limbs are benumbed and his spirits are now too 
heavy! "It is too late," he has said to himself — and has become self-distrustful and henceforth for ever 
useless. — In the domain of genius, may not the "Raphael without hands" (taking the expression in its widest 
sense) perhaps not be the exception, but the rule? — Perhaps genius is by no means so rare: but rather the five 
hundred HANDS which it requires in order to tyrannize over the [GREEK INSERTED HERE], "the right 
time" — in order to take chance by the forelock! 

275. He who does not WISH to see the height of a man, looks all the more sharply at what is low in him, and 
in the foreground — and thereby betrays himself. 

276. In all kinds of injury and loss the lower and coarser soul is better off than the nobler soul: the dangers of 
the latter must be greater, the probability that it will come to grief and perish is in fact immense, considering 
the multiplicity of the conditions of its existence. — In a lizard a finger grows again which has been lost; not so 
in man. — 

277. It is too bad! Always the old story! When a man has finished building his house, he finds that he has 
learnt unawares something which he OUGHT absolutely to have known before he — began to build. The 
eternal, fatal "Too late!" The melancholia of everything COMPLETED! — 

278. — Wanderer, who art thou? I see thee follow thy path without scorn, without love, with unfathomable 
eyes, wet and sad as a plummet which has returned to the light insatiated out of every depth — what did it seek 
down there? — with a bosom that never sighs, with lips that conceal their loathing, with a hand which only 
slowly grasps: who art thou? what hast thou done? Rest thee here: this place has hospitality for every 
one — refresh thyself! And whoever thou art, what is it that now pleases thee? What will serve to refresh thee? 
Only name it, whatever I have I offer thee! "To refresh me? To refresh me? Oh, thou prying one, what sayest 
thou! But give me, I pray thee " What? what? Speak out! "Another mask! A second mask!" 

279. Men of profound sadness betray themselves when they are happy: they have a mode of seizing upon 
happiness as though they would choke and strangle it, out of jealousy — ah, they know only too well that it 
will flee from them! 

280. "Bad! Bad! What? Does he not — go back?" Yes! But you misunderstand him when you complain about 
it. He goes back like every one who is about to make a great spring. 

28 1 . — "Will people believe it of me? But I insist that they believe it of me: I have always thought very 
unsatisfactorily of myself and about myself, only in very rare cases, only compulsorily, always without 
delight in 'the subject,' ready to digress from 'myself,' and always without faith in the result, owing to an 
unconquerable distrust of the POSSIBILITY of self- knowledge, which has led me so far as to feel a 


Beyond Good and Evil 

CONTRADICTIO IN ADJECTO even in the idea of 'direct knowledge' which theorists allow 
themselves: — this matter of fact is almost the most certain thing I know about myself. There must be a sort of 
repugnance in me to BELIEVE anything definite about myself. — Is there perhaps some enigma therein? 
Probably; but fortunately nothing for my own teeth. — Perhaps it betrays the species to which I belong? — but 
not to myself, as is sufficiently agreeable to me." 

282. — "But what has happened to you?" — "I do not know," he said, hesitatingly; "perhaps the Harpies have 
flown over my table." — It sometimes happens nowadays that a gentle, sober, retiring man becomes suddenly 
mad, breaks the plates, upsets the table, shrieks, raves, and shocks everybody — and finally withdraws, 
ashamed, and raging at himself — whither? for what purpose? To famish apart? To suffocate with his 
memories? — To him who has the desires of a lofty and dainty soul, and only seldom finds his table laid and 
his food prepared, the danger will always be great — nowadays, however, it is extraordinarily so. Thrown into 
the midst of a noisy and plebeian age, with which he does not like to eat out of the same dish, he may readily 
perish of hunger and thirst — or, should he nevertheless finally "fall to," of sudden nausea. — We have probably 
all sat at tables to which we did not belong; and precisely the most spiritual of us, who are most difficult to 
nourish, know the dangerous DYSPEPSIA which originates from a sudden insight and disillusionment about 
our food and our messmates— the AFTER-DINNER NAUSEA. 

283. If one wishes to praise at all, it is a delicate and at the same time a noble self-control, to praise only 
where one DOES NOT agree — otherwise in fact one would praise oneself, which is contrary to good taste: — a 
self-control, to be sure, which offers excellent opportunity and provocation to constant 

MISUNDERSTANDING. To be able to allow oneself this veritable luxury of taste and morality, one must not 
live among intellectual imbeciles, but rather among men whose misunderstandings and mistakes amuse by 
their refinement — or one will have to pay dearly for it! — "He praises me, THEREFORE he acknowledges me 
to be right" — this asinine method of inference spoils half of the life of us recluses, for it brings the asses into 
our neighbourhood and friendship. 

284. To live in a vast and proud tranquility; always beyond ... To have, or not to have, one's emotions, one's 
For and Against, according to choice; to lower oneself to them for hours; to SEAT oneself on them as upon 
horses, and often as upon asses: — for one must know how to make use of their stupidity as well as of their 
fire. To conserve one's three hundred foregrounds; also one's black spectacles: for there are circumstances 
when nobody must look into our eyes, still less into our "motives." And to choose for company that roguish 
and cheerful vice, politeness. And to remain master of one's four virtues, courage, insight, sympathy, and 
solitude. For solitude is a virtue with us, as a sublime bent and bias to purity, which divines that in the contact 
of man and man — "in society" — it must be unavoidably impure. All society makes one somehow, somewhere, 
or sometime — "commonplace." 

285. The greatest events and thoughts — the greatest thoughts, however, are the greatest events — are longest in 
being comprehended: the generations which are contemporary with them do not EXPERIENCE such 
events — they live past them. Something happens there as in the realm of stars. The light of the furthest stars is 
longest in reaching man; and before it has arrived man DENIES — that there are stars there. "How many 
centuries does a mind require to be understood?" — that is also a standard, one also makes a gradation of rank 
and an etiquette therewith, such as is necessary for mind and for star. 

286. "Here is the prospect free, the mind exalted." [FOOTNOTE: Goethe's "Faust," Part II, Act V. The words 
of Dr. Marianus.] — But there is a reverse kind of man, who is also upon a height, and has also a free 
prospect— but looks DOWNWARDS. 

287. What is noble? What does the word "noble" still mean for us nowadays? How does the noble man betray 
himself, how is he recognized under this heavy overcast sky of the commencing plebeianism, by which 
everything is rendered opaque and leaden? — It is not his actions which establish his claim — actions are 


Beyond Good and Evil 

always ambiguous, always inscrutable; neither is it his "works." One finds nowadays among artists and 
scholars plenty of those who betray by their works that a profound longing for nobleness impels them; but this 
very NEED of nobleness is radically different from the needs of the noble soul itself, and is in fact the 
eloquent and dangerous sign of the lack thereof. It is not the works, but the BELIEF which is here decisive 
and determines the order of rank — to employ once more an old religious formula with a new and deeper 
meaning — it is some fundamental certainty which a noble soul has about itself, something which is not to be 
sought, is not to be found, and perhaps, also, is not to be lost.— THE NOBLE SOUL HAS REVERENCE 

288. There are men who are unavoidably intellectual, let them turn and twist themselves as they will, and hold 
their hands before their treacherous eyes — as though the hand were not a betrayer; it always comes out at last 
that they have something which they hide — namely, intellect. One of the subtlest means of deceiving, at least 
as long as possible, and of successfully representing oneself to be stupider than one really is — which in 
everyday life is often as desirable as an umbrella, — is called ENTHUSIASM, including what belongs to it, for 
instance, virtue. For as Galiani said, who was obliged to know it: VERTU EST ENTHOUSIASME. 

289. In the writings of a recluse one always hears something of the echo of the wilderness, something of the 
murmuring tones and timid vigilance of solitude; in his strongest words, even in his cry itself, there sounds a 
new and more dangerous kind of silence, of concealment. He who has sat day and night, from year's end to 
year's end, alone with his soul in familiar discord and discourse, he who has become a cave-bear, or a 
treasure- seeker, or a treasure-guardian and dragon in his cave — it may be a labyrinth, but can also be a 
gold-mine — his ideas themselves eventually acquire a twilight-colour of their own, and an odour, as much of 
the depth as of the mould, something uncommunicative and repulsive, which blows chilly upon every 
passerby. The recluse does not believe that a philosopher — supposing that a philosopher has always in the first 
place been a recluse — ever expressed his actual and ultimate opinions in books: are not books written 
precisely to hide what is in us? — indeed, he will doubt whether a philosopher CAN have "ultimate and actual" 
opinions at all; whether behind every cave in him there is not, and must necessarily be, a still deeper cave: an 
ampler, stranger, richer world beyond the surface, an abyss behind every bottom, beneath every "foundation." 
Every philosophy is a foreground philosophy — this is a recluse's verdict: "There is something arbitrary in the 
fact that the PHILOSOPHER came to a stand here, took a retrospect, and looked around; that he HERE laid 
his spade aside and did not dig any deeper — there is also something suspicious in it." Every philosophy also 
CONCEALS a philosophy; every opinion is also a LURKING-PLACE, every word is also a MASK. 

290. Every deep thinker is more afraid of being understood than of being misunderstood. The latter perhaps 
wounds his vanity; but the former wounds his heart, his sympathy, which always says: "Ah, why would you 
also have as hard a time of it as I have?" 

291. Man, a COMPLEX, mendacious, artful, and inscrutable animal, uncanny to the other animals by his 
artifice and sagacity, rather than by his strength, has invented the good conscience in order finally to enjoy his 
soul as something SIMPLE; and the whole of morality is a long, audacious falsification, by virtue of which 
generally enjoyment at the sight of the soul becomes possible. From this point of view there is perhaps much 
more in the conception of "art" than is generally believed. 

292. A philosopher: that is a man who constantly experiences, sees, hears, suspects, hopes, and dreams 
extraordinary things; who is struck by his own thoughts as if they came from the outside, from above and 
below, as a species of events and lightning-flashes PECULIAR TO HIM; who is perhaps himself a storm 
pregnant with new lightnings; a portentous man, around whom there is always rumbling and mumbling and 
gaping and something uncanny going on. A philosopher: alas, a being who often runs away from himself, is 
often afraid of himself — but whose curiosity always makes him "come to himself again. 


Beyond Good and Evil 

293. A man who says: "I like that, I take it for my own, and mean to guard and protect it from every one"; a 
man who can conduct a case, carry out a resolution, remain true to an opinion, keep hold of a woman, punish 
and overthrow insolence; a man who has his indignation and his sword, and to whom the weak, the suffering, 
the oppressed, and even the animals willingly submit and naturally belong; in short, a man who is a MASTER 
by nature — when such a man has sympathy, well! THAT sympathy has value! But of what account is the 
sympathy of those who suffer! Or of those even who preach sympathy! There is nowadays, throughout almost 
the whole of Europe, a sickly irritability and sensitiveness towards pain, and also a repulsive irrestrainableness 
in complaining, an effeminizing, which, with the aid of religion and philosophical nonsense, seeks to deck 
itself out as something superior — there is a regular cult of suffering. The UNMANLINESS of that which is 
called "sympathy" by such groups of visionaries, is always, I believe, the first thing that strikes the eye. — One 
must resolutely and radically taboo this latest form of bad taste; and finally I wish people to put the good 
amulet, "GAI SABER" ("gay science," in ordinary language), on heart and neck, as a protection against it. 

294. THE OLYMPIAN VICE. — Despite the philosopher who, as a genuine Englishman, tried to bring 
laughter into bad repute in all thinking minds — "Laughing is a bad infirmity of human nature, which every 
thinking mind will strive to overcome" (Hobbes), — I would even allow myself to rank philosophers according 
to the quality of their laughing — up to those who are capable of GOLDEN laughter. And supposing that Gods 
also philosophize, which I am strongly inclined to believe, owing to many reasons — I have no doubt that they 
also know how to laugh thereby in an overman-like and new fashion — and at the expense of all serious 
things! Gods are fond of ridicule: it seems that they cannot refrain from laughter even in holy matters. 

295. The genius of the heart, as that great mysterious one possesses it, the tempter-god and born rat-catcher 
of consciences, whose voice can descend into the nether-world of every soul, who neither speaks a word nor 
casts a glance in which there may not be some motive or touch of allurement, to whose perfection it pertains 
that he knows how to appear, — not as he is, but in a guise which acts as an ADDITIONAL constraint on his 
followers to press ever closer to him, to follow him more cordially and thoroughly; — the genius of the heart, 
which imposes silence and attention on everything loud and self-conceited, which smoothes rough souls and 
makes them taste a new longing — to lie placid as a mirror, that the deep heavens may be reflected in 

them; — the genius of the heart, which teaches the clumsy and too hasty hand to hesitate, and to grasp more 
delicately; which scents the hidden and forgotten treasure, the drop of goodness and sweet spirituality under 
thick dark ice, and is a divining- rod for every grain of gold, long buried and imprisoned in mud and sand; the 
genius of the heart, from contact with which every one goes away richer; not favoured or surprised, not as 
though gratified and oppressed by the good things of others; but richer in himself, newer than before, broken 
up, blown upon, and sounded by a thawing wind; more uncertain, perhaps, more delicate, more fragile, more 
bruised, but full of hopes which as yet lack names, full of a new will and current, full of a new ill-will and 
counter-current . . . but what am I doing, my friends? Of whom am I talking to you? Have I forgotten myself 
so far that I have not even told you his name? Unless it be that you have already divined of your own accord 
who this questionable God and spirit is, that wishes to be PRAISED in such a manner? For, as it happens to 
every one who from childhood onward has always been on his legs, and in foreign lands, I have also 
encountered on my path many strange and dangerous spirits; above all, however, and again and again, the one 
of whom I have just spoken: in fact, no less a personage than the God DIONYSUS, the great equivocator and 
tempter, to whom, as you know, I once offered in all secrecy and reverence my first-fruits — the last, as it 
seems to me, who has offered a SACRIFICE to him, for I have found no one who could understand what I 
was then doing. In the meantime, however, I have learned much, far too much, about the philosophy of this 
God, and, as I said, from mouth to mouth — I, the last disciple and initiate of the God Dionysus: and perhaps I 
might at last begin to give you, my friends, as far as I am allowed, a little taste of this philosophy? In a hushed 
voice, as is but seemly: for it has to do with much that is secret, new, strange, wonderful, and uncanny. The 
very fact that Dionysus is a philosopher, and that therefore Gods also philosophize, seems to me a novelty 
which is not unensnaring, and might perhaps arouse suspicion precisely among philosophers; — among you, 
my friends, there is less to be said against it, except that it comes too late and not at the right time; for, as it 
has been disclosed to me, you are loth nowadays to believe in God and gods. It may happen, too, that in the 


Beyond Good and Evil 

frankness of my story I must go further than is agreeable to the strict usages of your ears? Certainly the God in 
question went further, very much further, in such dialogues, and was always many paces ahead of me . . . 
Indeed, if it were allowed, I should have to give him, according to human usage, fine ceremonious tides of 
lustre and merit, I should have to extol his courage as investigator and discoverer, his fearless honesty, 
truthfulness, and love of wisdom. But such a God does not know what to do with all that respectable trumpery 
and pomp. "Keep that," he would say, "for thyself and those like thee, and whoever else require it! I — have no 
reason to cover my nakedness!" One suspects that this kind of divinity and philosopher perhaps lacks 
shame? — He once said: "Under certain circumstances I love mankind" — and referred thereby to Ariadne, who 
was present; "in my opinion man is an agreeable, brave, inventive animal, that has not his equal upon earth, he 
makes his way even through all labyrinths. I like man, and often think how I can still further advance him, and 
make him stronger, more evil, and more profound." — "Stronger, more evil, and more profound?" I asked in 
horror. "Yes," he said again, "stronger, more evil, and more profound; also more beautiful" — and thereby the 
tempter-god smiled with his halcyon smile, as though he had just paid some charming compliment. One here 
sees at once that it is not only shame that this divinity lacks; — and in general there are good grounds for 
supposing that in some things the Gods could all of them come to us men for instruction. We men are — more 
human. — 

296. Alas! what are you, after all, my written and painted thoughts! Not long ago you were so variegated, 
young and malicious, so full of thorns and secret spices, that you made me sneeze and laugh — and now? You 
have already doffed your novelty, and some of you, I fear, are ready to become truths, so immortal do they 
look, so pathetically honest, so tedious ! And was it ever otherwise? What then do we write and paint, we 
mandarins with Chinese brush, we immortalisers of things which LEND themselves to writing, what are we 
alone capable of painting? Alas, only that which is just about to fade and begins to lose its odour! Alas, only 
exhausted and departing storms and belated yellow sentiments! Alas, only birds strayed and fatigued by flight, 
which now let themselves be captured with the hand — with OUR hand! We immortalize what cannot live and 
fly much longer, things only which are exhausted and mellow ! And it is only for your AFTERNOON, you, 
my written and painted thoughts, for which alone I have colours, many colours, perhaps, many variegated 
softenings, and fifty yellows and browns and greens and reds; — but nobody will divine thereby how ye 
looked in your morning, you sudden sparks and marvels of my solitude, you, my old, beloved — EVIL 


By F W Nietzsche 
Translated by L A Magnus 

MIDDAY of Life! Oh, season of delight! 
My summer's park! 


Beyond Good and Evil 

Uneaseful joy to look, to lurk, to hark — 
I peer for friends, am ready day and night, — 
Where linger ye, my friends? The time is right! 

Is not the glacier's grey today for you 

The brooklet seeks you, wind, cloud, with longing thread 
And thrust themselves yet higher to the blue, 
To spy for you from farthest eagle's view 

My table was spread out for you on high — 

Who dwelleth so 
Star-near, so near the grisly pit below? — 
My realm — what realm hath wider boundary? 
My honey — who hath sipped its fragrancy? 

Friends, ye are there! Woe me, — yet I am not 

He whom ye seek? 
Ye stare and stop — better your wrath could speak! 
I am not I? Hand, gait, face, changed? And what 
I am, to you my friends, now am I not? 

Am I an other? Strange am I to Me? 

Yet from Me sprung? 
A wrestler, by himself too oft self-wrung? 
Hindering too oft my own self s potency, 
Wounded and hampered by self- victory? 

I sought where-so the wind blows keenest. There 

I learned to dwell 
Where no man dwells, on lonesome ice-lorn fell, 


Beyond Good and Evil 

And unlearned Man and God and curse and prayer? 
Became a ghost haunting the glaciers bare? 

Ye, my old friends! Look! Ye turn pale, filled o'er 

With love and fear! 
Go ! Yet not in wrath. Ye could ne'er live here. 
Here in the farthest realm of ice and scaur, 
A huntsman must one be, like chamois soar. 

An evil huntsman was I? See how taut 

My bow was bent! 
Strongest was he by whom such bolt were sent — 
Woe now ! That arrow is with peril fraught, 
Perilous as none. — Have yon safe home ye sought! 

Ye go! Thou didst endure enough, oh, heart; — 

Strong was thy hope; 
Unto new friends thy portals widely ope, 
Let old ones be. Bid memory depart! 
Wast thou young then, now — better young thou art! 


What linked us once together, one hope's tie — 

(Who now doth con 
Those lines, now fading, Love once wrote thereon?)- 
Is like a parchment, which the hand is shy 
To touch — like crackling leaves, all seared, all dry. 


Oh! Friends no more! They are — what name for those? — 

Friends' phantom-flight 
Knocking at my heart's window-pane at night, 
Gazing on me, that speaks "We were" and goes, — 


Beyond Good and Evil 
Oh, withered words, once fragrant as the rose! 


Pinings of youth that might not understand! 

For which I pined, 
Which I deemed changed with me, kin of my kind: 
But they grew old, and thus were doomed and banned: 
None but new kith are native of my land! 


Midday of life! My second youth's delight! 

My summer's park! 
Unrestful joy to long, to lurk, to hark! 
I peer for friends ! — am ready day and night, 
For my new friends. Come! Come! The time is right! 


This song is done, — the sweet sad cry of rue 

Sang out its end; 
A wizard wrought it, he the timely friend, 
The midday-friend, — no, do not ask me who; 
At midday 'twas, when one became as two. 


We keep our Feast of Feasts, sure of our bourne, 

Our aims self-same: 
The Guest of Guests, friend Zarathustra, came! 
The world now laughs, the grisly veil was torn, 
And Light and Dark were one that wedding-morn.